The Hükk Hunts
What do Hükk do? Part 1, Antares fiction by Tim Bancroft.
‘I don’t like it.’ Fen Mahr tapped the table with a fingernail. ‘He may be insulted.’
‘He?’ Across the table, Commander Es Thal had a faint smile on his face.
‘It, then. And it’s not something to scoff at, either. The intel we have on these Hükk is weak to say the least.’
‘Do we have to use it? Can it not do the job, this Herk?’
Fen Mahr gritted her teeth in anger. ‘You’re not listening. It’s a Hükk – of course it can do the job. The issue is whether it will regard it as worthy enough, difficult enough. Or high-value enough.’
‘Your bounty hunter sounds as if it has a misplaced sense of pride.’ Es Thal narrowed his eyes. ‘My formations can do whatever it is you need much better – this ‘Huck’ sounds hardly what my AI would want to work with.’
Fen stopped drumming the table and balled her fist. She paced towards the closed door of the office and breathed deeply. When she turned back her demeanour was calm – icy calm. ‘Are you deliberately being ignorant?’ she asked.
‘Ignorant?’ Thal shot to his feet. ‘You may be intel but I am Es Thal. Be careful how you address me, Officer Mahr. My family—’
‘Officer?’ Fen cut him off. ‘I am Lead Agent Mahr. Of SD exo-intelligence. I report directly to Ess Ma Rahq.’ Es Thal paled. ‘You may be the senior officer of this garrison, but your family and life on this frontier world is a minor consideration compared with the safety of the Prosperate.’ She narrowed her eyes. ‘Ess Ma Rahq is interested solely in results, Commander Thal, and is watching this mission with interest. This vardari is a traitor to all panhumans, everywhere.’
‘I… I’m sorry, Agent Mahr. I did not know.’ Es Thal bowed his head.
‘Of course not.’ Fen cut him short, again. ‘I suggest you research the Hükk.’ She smiled, baring her teeth as if a predator looking for prey. ‘And you will be the one to try and hire this bounty hunter.’
‘Why me?’ Thal frowned. ‘Why not you?’
‘Because if he doesn’t like the assignment, he’ll kill you.’
* * *
The task would lead to increased hürakh, that was for sure, though the attitude of the quailing, keratin-crested being who brought the request would have tempted almost any Hükk to slay it on sight. But the human morph had borne a message from one whose reputation was known to all Hükk, one who bore her own hürakh – would she but know it.
The target was interesting. Ordinarily, a single human would be of no interest, would have very little status, but this… this one was a trader in weapons, perhaps even in slaves, and might be protected by Ghar weaponry – perhaps even Ghar. Given its dealings with the human-killers, the target would be on guard against humans assassins: always on guard.
That deserved careful thought, gathering of intelligence, watching. A target on permanent watch, with powerful defences and wanted by the highest-ranked leaders of the Protectorate. And elsewhere. Ashgherk would have to prepare, select the aid he was offered with care – a hand-picked team, perhaps, to act as decoys and bait.
Yes. This might be dangerous, even for a Hükk hunter like himself. But that simple fact on its own carried much renown. Ashgherk settled back on his haunches and pulled up the data he had been given on his quarry: he would have to plan this hunt carefully, indeed.
But the hunt was on…
*** To Be Continued ***
The Hükk Bounty Hunter
Deep within the C3 IMTel or central databanks and on many worlds there can be found details on these Hükk. Whether in the Concord, Senatex, Prosperate, Spill, Determinate or Vorl, they’re endemic to Antares.
This tough Mercenary brings a new element to your battles within Gates of Antares. Whose side will he fight on, what new scenarios will be issued? Find out more in the FREE PDFs plus more news over on the Nexus, the hub for all knowledge on the gates, races, tech, and aliens found in Beyond the Gates of Antares.