‘My father was a watchmaker. He used to force me to sit still for hours, as he worked. Teaching me to be patient. Teaching me to be content with stillness. “The galaxy,” he said, “it is always moving so fast… technology, subterfuge, politics… if humanity took a moment to pause and perceive what it had accomplished, it might realise how fragile it all was, and how things needed to change.” Heh. My father was an idealist, a pacifist and a fool. He died poor. I won’t.’
– Marek Zalny to Ken Aikawa of the Kempeitai.
It goes without saying that the mercenary trade has blossomed. As humanity has expanded through the cosmos, we have taken with us our greed, cruelty and opportunism. That being said, were there not times when hired guns helped the just overthrow the unjust?
Marek Zalny is a peculiar case. After receiving a sliver of Teseum in his skull during an operation on Ariadna, he underwent black market surgery courtesy of the renegade Daktari Muy-Muy. Zalny’s employers had demanded a full neurocinetic system but lacked the funds, so Muy-Muy did the best that she could, crafting an ersatz neurocinetic implant that provided a limited but steady reaction speed. Afterwards, Zalny became known as the Clockwork Killer, his fire rate strangely mechanical, yet unceasing.