The most destructive and deadly weapon of all is not an antimatter bomb. That place goes to a Human with ductape, a Multitool, a Target and no reason to not do it.
Or to care for his safety. -- Anon Guest
Humans have a lot of sayings concerning revenge. This should be enough warning for most species, but there are always an unfortunate few who are slow learners. Suffice to say that if your commanding officer decides to blast an isolated Human habitation without first checking that the entire familial collective is there, your best option is immediate and swift mutiny. It's the only way to be certain you and your crewmates survive.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, they say. If you seek revenge, first dig two graves, they say. An eye for an eye, they say. There are even cute little cards with cute cartoon figures and legends like Revenge means never having to say "I forgive you." If all of that isn't adequate warning, nothing will be.
Such as it was for the CEO of PlanMynCo vessel Exploiter, Yarbin VanDerReck. He saw no reason why a small family farm in the middle of nowhere should stand in the way of the Exploiter's rights to mine a large deposit of rare earth minerals. He destroyed the farm, and most of the family who lived there, unaware and uncaring that this was one of the even rarer depositories for active members of Pax Humanis.
The monster who lived there loved her family. She loved her Keeper. She even loved the animals and plants they kept there. So, when she returned, victorious, from her hunt to find a smoking crater and signs of an orbital mining operation... well. It was entirely understandable that she was more than a little upset.
Humans are pursuit predators. They can track and harass their prey until they die of exhaustion.
The traces left on the farm told Pixie Leifsdottr what company was responsible. Tags in the jettisoned equipment gave her the name of the ship. A trip to the nearest resources store gave her everything she would need. One multitool. One large roll of ductape. A ticket of leave against a Jharren Doe who willingly attacked people under the protection of Pax Humanis.
The Enforcers of Pax Humanis let its members protect or avenge their own. It is, after all, more than fair warning to the rest of the Alliance.
Pixie Leifsdottr had a lot of time to plan, during her pursuit. She learned. All about Yarbin VanDerReck. All about his family. All about the things he valued. All about everything he loved. She quickly dismissed destroying his family in front of his eyes. Yarbin VanDerReck only loved himself and his profits. His family was yet another trophy in a long line of trophies displaying his casual disregard for anyone other than himself. He forced all his wives to change their name to Sandy so that he would have an easier time remembering their name during the ten years they were pretty enough to keep. He shipped his children off to boarding schools and had minimal involvement in their upbringing from conception onwards.
Therefore, she destroyed his treasures. His country houses. His town houses. His vehicles. His art, though, was stolen and fenced to more worthy recipients in Ghiishem. Everything that bore his name was reduced to rubble. If he dared to rebuild, then that took care of his extensive funds.
When all he had left was the Exploiter, that was when she stole him from his ship. The crew -if they could be damned with such faint praise- were only following orders. VanDerReck kept them under the tyranny of worse than unemployment if they disobeyed. If he fired them, they and their families would slowly starve to death because none of his associates would go near them.
VanDerReck woke up strapped to a chair, unable to move because what he assumed to be a chair was an intricate harness that could pose him in any position his captor wanted. Right now, Pixie Leifsdottr wanted him sitting comfortably. She sat opposite, exhibiting the same eerie calm that earned her the callsign Ice Queen amongst the members of Pax Humanis. She waited until he ran out of empty threats, paging through assorted legal documents.
When he finally fell silent, she took a sip of water from a nearby flask and cleared her throat. "Good day, Mr VanDerReck. It is my duty to inform you that you are the subject of a 'more fool you' warrant, subsequent to your attack against the domicile and family of a member of the Pax Humanis Enforcement Arm." She furled a sleeve, revealing a tattoo of a dog with a dismembered hand in its mouth and the legend Cave Canes Fame. It had nothing to do with famous cavern hounds. "You are therefore subject to pursuit to the pain."
"You have no right," VanDerReck protested.
"On the contrary, I have every right. Hence the 'more fool you' warrant. The instant it was issued, your insurance companies upped your premiums to the maximum and, you might wish to note, a larger portion of them refused to cover you and your belongings at all. Being prey to a warrant like this is classed as an 'act of the Powers' in every court you can access, Mr VanDerReck."
Light began to dawn. "That was you? But... that mine was exhausted years ago."
"Yes. That mine killed my family and destroyed everything I held dear. Years ago. Normal people would be able to mourn and get over it but," she tapped the tattoo. "I'm not normal people." She let that sink in. "In those years, I set out with the task of identifying you and everything you actually treasured. I destroyed those treasures. One. By. One. I left you with nothing but the hope of profit, and now I am destroying that."
"What? You can't!"
"I can. I will. I have, Mr VanDerReck. I have used the profits from fencing your art collection -the DaVinci was a fake, by the way- to buy the captaincy of your last remaining vessel, and gift it to the only crewman who dared protest your 'winner takes all' policy. Though he was afraid to confront you directly, his blog was instrumental in my finding your name and holdings. You have nothing left but your self, Mr VanDerReck."
"Why? Why are you doing this? I haven't hurt you!"
Pixie picked up her roll of ductape and peeled off a measure. The roll itself was significantly thinner than when it was new. She placed it over his mouth and said, "Now is the time for you to be silent, Mr VanDerReck. I realise you can flex your way out of this symbolic restraint, but if you do, I'll start breaking your bones early."
The only sound in the cavernous darkness was the whistling of the breath in his nostrils.
"Good. You can learn. Fifteen years ago, on Threesday the twenty-third of Five, Year 23784... you did willingly order your crew, and I quote, to 'blast the damn house to slag, I don't care what's alive down there.' Further, you justified it by saying, 'they won't even have time to feel it'. The facts back you up, there, Mr VanDerReck. They didn't have time to feel it. Not the cows, not the pigs, not the goats. Not even the chickens. Especially not my Keeper, my husband, my lifemate and soulmatch. Especially not our three lovely girls nor my two sons." A trickle of anger showed through her icy facade, which was somehow more terrifying for its moderation. "In brief, and to quote a great drama, you took fucking everything from me."
Only now did his calculating and scheming eyes widen with the realisation of what he'd done.
"The good news, Mr VanDerReck, is that I'm not going to kill you. I'm going to do far, far worse than that." One by one, she idly picked out the small tools of her omnitool. Everything a creative mind could need to cause a body pain. "I'm going to ensure you suffer. You are going to suffer for a long, long time. That is what 'to the pain' means, Mr VanDerReck. You are going to suffer. Pain in every form I can engender." She put the omnitool down and took another drink of water. "Right now, you are thinking about the illegal nanites in your body that maintain your peak physical fitness. Don't rely on them. A fellow member of Pax Humanis has helped me disable them and purge them from your system. When I'm finally done, I'll introduce a new suite. They'll take whatever I decide to leave behind as the base pattern... and maintain it."
Now he tried to struggle. Now he tried to cry for help. Now he attempted to look around for any sliver of hope.
Pixie smiled. She did love it when they showed fear. She left the pliers out, flipping everything else back into place. She had other 'toys' of course, but right now, she wanted to be creative. "Let's begin... with your toes..."
 Also known as a "More Fool You" Warrant.
 The GalStand calendar consists of a ten-day week, a four-week month, and a ten-month year. It has reserved very little in the way of imagination towards naming any of these.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / spaxiax]
If you like my stories, please Check out my blog and Follow me. Or share them with your friends!
Send me a prompt [51 remaining prompts!]