Farley had often dreamed of becoming a cyborg.

Most technomancers went for at least a few cybernetic implants. Some form of data storage was nearly universal, a few sensory upgrades, wired reflexes, the list went on. Plenty of ways to enhance your capabilities through technology, and as technomancers they were all uniquely suited to making that technology work for them.

Unfortunately, Farley’s regeneration factor did not particularly like cybernetic intruders. Or any intruders for that matter; as a teenager she’d tried to get her ears pierced and the holes had healed over before she’d even left the shop. She had tried again with various implants over the years, and had experimented with all sorts of methods to obtain cybernetic eyes, but in the end nothing could beat her regeneration.

In the end it was probably better that she didn’t replace any of her body with cybernetic parts; she could regrow her eyes if they were damaged, but repairing cybernetic eyes would take time she might not have to spend. Since Farley was adaptable, she made do with mundane solutions.

She adjusted her visor, a piece of technology that wrapped around her head and tracked all sorts of useful information: heat signatures, motion tracker, facial recognition software, and a schematic of her surroundings that updated every time she accessed the circuitry of a building with her technomancy powers.

Then she shot a demon, because that was a thing that was happening.

The demon exploded in a shower of gore and Farley ripped out its still-beating heart. Demon hearts weren’t the tastiest meal but damn if they weren’t packed full of chemical energy that her regeneration factor just thrived on.

Click. Boom. Another demon down. Even the grunts were resistant to hellfire, so Farley had switched the Hellcannon from “Burn” to “Boom.” The actual names of the gun’s modes were “Glorious Incineration Burning Away Sin” and “Rapturous Cataclysm of Violent Intent” but those were a mouthful so Farley stuck to her nicknames.

A demon with a donkey’s head and seven arms rushed her from a side door, but her hearing alerted her to its presence long before it actually struck and she was already swinging a fist to deck the infernal right in its crooked poison-dripping teeth. The demon reeled, grasped at its bleeding face, and by then it was too late to do anything else. Click. Boom.

Farley stepped over the shredded carcass and placed her free hand on a nearby security terminal. The terminal hummed to life eagerly, like a faithful dog, and Farley downloaded everything it knew into her visor. Her map of the area updated and she kept moving.

Click. Boom. Another dead demon, another fresh snack. By that point she’d stored up enough energy that her regeneration was working overdrive and every lucky hit a demon got in was healed in moments.

Her hand was burned to a crisp and the scorched flesh sloughed off to reveal fresh skin. A trident to the chest pierced her heart and was pushed out. She took a bullet to the brain and it only slowed her down for a few seconds.

She lost track of how many she’d killed pretty quick, but it was enough that they started running instead of fighting back.

Farley climbed lower, descending into the depths of the complex. She followed the schematic through hallways and stairwells until finally reaching the room she wanted: a conference room with widescreen holoviewer.

Farley shut the door, plopped herself down in a high-backed office chair, kicked her feet up on the table, and tapped the panel that controlled the holoviewer. The machine interpreted her desires instantly and the holoviewer flickered to life, sending out a call to the demon lord Farley wanted to see.

It only took two pings for the demon to show up on the holoviewer. A crown of horns above nine red eyes, four bladed wings sprouting from the back of a supple torso, violet skin covered in white swirls, four arms ending in wicked claws, and thick hooves constantly aflame. Adorning her body was spiked platemail dripping with blood, and she sat upon a throne of bone and skulls. The Arch-Queen of Torment glared at Farley through the holoviewer.

“Belianovem!” cheered Farley. “It’s been too long. How’s the company doing? Big year for profit?”

“It was,” the demon lord hissed, “until you started murdering all my employees!”

Farley waved a hand dismissively. “Labor dispute. I was saving you some overhead, that’s all. Come on, we both know those peons are expendable.”

“There are better ways to expend them than as fodder for a mad chimera. Couldn’t you have at least waited until next quarter? This is going to be a very annoying expense to explain to my shareholders.”

Farley fiddled with the Hellcannon. “Yeah, well, not really my choice to show up here today. Someone tossed me your way with–I’m fairly certain–malicious intent.”

Belianovem’s nine eyes narrowed. “Explain. Now.”

Farley raised her left hand and showed off the infernal runes laid out in a circle on the back of her hand. The physical mark of her pact with the Hellcannon. “Our old friend Mephistroph cut a deal with a mob boss to get me sent here. I figured he was going to drop me directly into his clutches, but instead I ended up in your territory half a planet away. Seems to me like he wanted us to cripple each other so he could sweep in and take advantage.”

The Arch-Queen’s claws dug into the arms of her throne and cracked a skull. “That little shit.” She eyed Farley consideringly. “Alright, what do you want?”

Farley pressed both hands to her chest and gave a mock-innocent look. “Why, whatever do you mean?”

Belianovem sneered at the chimera. “You’re not cute, and you’re entirely too predictable. If you came to me with this instead of just blasting your way off the planet it means you want something.”

“Well,” Farley mused, “I am a staunch capitalist, and my bank account is looking a bit empty these days. If you could fix that problem, I might be able to hit some of Mephistroph’s interests and give you an opportunity to turn the tables on him.”

The demon lord crossed two of her arms. “You were going to do that anyway,” she accused.

“Probably,” Farley admitted, “but in a very chaotic and destructive manner. If you’re financing my rampage, I’ll be sure to hit the targets you pick, which lets you control how the flow of wealth shifts.” The chimera adopted a conspiratorial tone as she continued, “If, for example, I hit a place of business that also happens to be owned by one of those shareholders giving you such trouble, I think it would be fairly easy for you to step in and leverage that situation in creative ways.”

Belianovem eyed Farley with a shrewd look. “This is too well-thought for a scheme you came up with in the past hour. You were planning a trip to Phlegethaern before Mephistroph brought you here.”

“Maybe,” Farley shrugged. “But does that change your answer?”

The Arch-Queen of Torment glared at Farley for a few more moments, then sighed. “You really are a pest, you know that? If you weren’t so bloody hard to kill I’d order a hit myself. Fine. Name your price.”

“Two hundred grand a target.”

“Name a better price. You’ve already cost me thousands just getting to this conversation.”

Farley rolled her eyes. “You know you have the capital for that.”

“Capital I will need to invest after you start blowing up buildings.”

“Fine, fine. One hundred eighty. A ten percent discount for my favorite customer.” Farley smirked at the demon lord.

“I’ll send you the targets once I’ve picked them. For now… get the fuck out of my building,” the Arch-Queen hissed.

Farley laughed and shut off the holoviewer.

Alright, time to raise some cain.


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