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The Hunt by Sir Mane Fen

Written by: Fratus Sinister and posted on: Feb 1, 2008
Of hunters of men we can say only this; there are no more dangerous predators then these. Beasts of great ferocity have plagued mankind since the dawning of his awareness – but always there has been a more unpredictable element then this; man himself.

Men who hunt men.

Of men who hunt men we can say only this; from them you should run or be prepared to fight. Of men who hunt men I can offer you only this…

I hope you have lived well.
Mane Fen relaxed in his chair, a rickety wooden affair, and switched off his subspace transceiver. Successfully sent and received, the extraction and assistance team would soon deploy the message as requested by Governor General Fratus. Doubtlessly they would chew it over briefly, but as the man on the ground this was his mission and, as such, there would be little choice but to comply.

Of course, the Mandalorians crewing the vessel would encourage compliance.

“That’s done,” he said to himself as much as the boy listening on the other end. It was a careful game, keeping his trust and feeding him the information he would need to save his life when, inevitably, the boy enacted his betrayal. “Heading back to town.”

During the hours of travel the boy had insinuated himself with a group of his peers, a band of upstart kids well on the road to becoming suicide bombers, or mastermind terrorists if they were smart enough to muddle through the ranks. During the hours it would take to return, he’d be neck deep in the shit and by the time he returned to their room, disguise and all, there would be a process of detoxification in an effort to stave off his conversion utterly. 

Mane disliked the head-games, disliked using psychological warefare against such an innocent being as this, but…

… he had done far worse.

This was just another walk in the park. Roniel Dussel was no exception. He had been on the executive council, he had committed mutiny, and now he was just another mark for the Emperor's Hammer. Mane had been commissioned by the Governor General to get this mark out of the queue using whatever means necessary. It was exactly how he liked to handle it.
It was quiet.

There was no noise seeping in from the halls outside, which had earlier bustled with the activity of crewmen and officers. There was not a sound from the intricate communications equipment that hung all around the room, feeding information from hundreds of ships and planets. There wasn't a word to be spoken from the interrogation room that contained Roniel Dussel. Turning about he leveled his cold piercing gaze upon the mutineer that had been captured by Sir Mane Fen's confidential, special-trained paramilitary unit. A sneer formed onto the pale face of the human male.
"Did you honestly think you would get away with this, Dussel?" Mane seemed to shiver when he identified the man strapped onto the wall by leather straps. "Treason - no one has ever succeeded. What made you think that you would be the exception?"
Mane smirked at the beaten-face of Roniel Dussel. As he smiled though, it seemed the scar above his eye widened. "I could kill you now." The threat seemed to affect Dussel more than it had been intended to. This mean obviously feared death. What a fool! He had let his enemy know his weakness, and now it was to be exploited.
Sir Fen pulled out a vibroshiv from a small case hanging from a belt around his waist. Admiring the blade's curved features, it seemed as if Mane was transfixed by the terrible fear that the appearance of the blade had brought upon Dussel. Mane chuckled softly as he made his way towards Dussel, grabbing the traitor's hair and lifting his head back up. The interrogator slowly pressed the side of the blade onto the tender skin of Dussel's neck.
"Tell me, Mr. Dussel - what do you know?" Mane pressed the knife even further into Dussel's skin. "Tell me now, as this blade won't stop it's progression a third time!"
"I-I... have a-all the in-information on the datapad that you gentlemen confiscated from me." A tear fell from Dussel's eye and slid down his cheek.
"Yes, yes, we looked at the datapad. We can't access the encrypted message on it though - it's passcode-locked."
"To access i-it... y-you need to se-set me free to f-find out the issue." The sly attempt at saving his hide sickened Mane even more. To make this known, he pressed the blade further into his skin, a trickle of blood slid down the dagger's sharp end and fell to the floor.
"Right." Mane stepped away from Dussel. Motioning to two guards, he made his command in a sharp tone, "Release him from the bonds. Take him into one of the captive cells. The Governor-General has more patience than I for scum like this."
"Yes, sir," grunted the two guards as they hastened to fulfill their duties. With a sigh, Mane pulled a cloth embroidered in golden trim and used it to wipe the end of the blood-stained dagger. If necessary, he would help in the second interrogation, but that was to be avoided at all costs - he doubted he had the willpower to overcome murdering the insolent bastard a second time.
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