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BOFH666
05-10-2003, 05:43 PM
Bloodhounds

Hi all, a quick intro to this seemed a good idea as anyone looking for immediate tickle action might be better served by looking elsewhere. Now that I've scared away any potential readers, let me explain to the brave few that remain ;-) . A while back I wrote what I thought was going to be the first part of a 'proper' full-length tickle-novel with things like plot and characters taking center stage. That got derailed when I found the story I came up with worked far better as a non-tickle story and switched to writing it as a more sci-fi story.

This is my second stab at the same idea, and in short is a detective novel with bits and pieces thrown in from other genres. The central plot will revolve around tickling, but I don't want to say any more here because it'll give the game away. However, don't expect long tickle scenes for at least the first few chapters, it's gonna build gradually and (hopefully) make sense in the long run. In the meantime expect short glimpses but not much more.

Hope you enjoy it.

*****************************

Part One

The year is 2010 and the city of London is drowning, dragged down by its own corruption. Multi-national corporations dominate the skyline in steel and glass office buildings, high paying jobs attracting the best and the brightest. The same best and brightest who go out at night and seek whatever pleasures, whatever release they can from their normal lives, who fuel the underworld that forms the very foundation of this place, providing the perfect cover for far larger crimes.

20 years ago the British government saw this problem coming, the police force simply couldn't keep up with a population that was growing increasingly restless and ever more cunning in ways to evade detection. As new legislation to protect the interests of the companies was introduced the police were stretched to the breaking point. Which is where I come in.

Project GE003 was its formal name, I suppose if nothing else it shows it was a British project, no dramatic codename just a simple task number. The idea was simple enough, to genetically engineer a superior example of the human race, preconditioned to maintain law and order. They would be faster, stronger and smarter than any 'normal' person, with endurance far beyond anything seen before. In short, a perfect law enforcement officer. Except something went wrong.

There were thirty of us in the test batch, grown in a lab and put through an extensive training and education program designed to equip us with all the mental and physical tools and preparation we would need for the job that lay before us. Twenty of us never completed that program. Two were lost during training, physical defects causing them to simply fold up in mid-exercise. The other eighteen all committed suicide within the same year, no-one knows why.

Of the ten that remained, four washed out, unable to perform to the required specifications. The rest of us were put to work, two of us in London, the rest moving from city to city throughout the country. Except I'm the only one in London now, the other was killed about a month ago, caught in the cross-fire of a turf war, gunned down for no reason. I suppose that's not such an uncommon thing in this town anymore.

All of us that 'graduated' from the project are hunters, stalking the rooftops and alleyways at night for anything out of the ordinary. We're not that different to everyone else, certainly to look at us you wouldn't think we were anything special. But appearances can be deceptive. We can run as fast as an Olympic 100 meter sprinter, only we don't get tired, our bodies being able to sustain that pace for well over an hour. Our muscle strength is enhanced, as is our co-ordination. Add some of the best technology the world has to offer, all concealed behind a heat-masking full-length coat and we certainly earned our reputation. A reputation that caused the street gangs to name us within a week of our deployment. We're not simply members of Project GE003 anymore, to the people we hunt we're known as bloodhounds.

It was a typical night in London, rain cascading from the heavens at such a rate it actually cut visibility like a fog hanging over the city. Not that it bothered the nocturnal elements of the place though, they were out in full force, the sound of gunfire ringing out at intermittent intervals from distant alleys signaling the presence of another body to be found and tagged by the regular patrols. But I couldn't do anything about that tonight, I had more urgent business to take care of.

About two weeks ago people had started disappearing off the streets. Granted that wasn't such an odd occurence but what was strange was that none of them had turned up again, either alive or dead. Worse there seemed to be a pattern, all of them were young, pretty, single women snatched within a two mile wide area in the heart of the city. So far we had twelve such cases, two of them belonging to fairly wealthy families and the absence of either a body or ransom note meant we had nothing to go on.

For the last three nights I'd been stalking the area where they'd been taken, keeping to the rooftops and staying out of sight. There were four single bars in the area and they seemed the logical place to start looking. Directly below me was a grey van, seemingly abandoned but somehow it still had all its wheels and running gear attached. Given that the odds of that happening in this town were approximately zero I figured it was worth a closer look.

Flicking my night vision goggles down I switched over to infra-red and sure enough there were three shapes dimly visible through the metal, one in the drivers seat, the other two crouched down by the back doors. Glancing up I saw a woman walking down the street towards the van who, from this distance anyway, seemed to match the usual description of those taken. As she drew level with the van the back doors were flung open and within the space of a second she'd been pulled inside and the van was in motion.

I didn't dare try to stop them while they were moving. There was a good chance that doing so could hurt the kidnapped girl, and besides I needed to know where they were taking her. I pulled out my pistol and fired a transmitter onto the back bumper of the van, its signal pulse instantly appearing in my goggles as I started to chase after them. Whoever they were, they were smart. They were driving carefully, slowly so as not to attract attention and it would probably have worked if I hadn't been right there when they'd taken her.

“This is special unit one, in pursuit of kidnap victim. Victim is young female, vehicle is a Ford Transit, registration plate KY53 UBY” I dictated under my breath, the throat microphone clipped to my shirt making sure the message was relayed back to control.

“Copy special one, do you require back-up?” came the reply.

“Negative, repeat negative. No-one gets close to them for now, I don't want to scare them.”

“Copy, we're standing by.”

“Copy control, special one out.”

It took about twenty minutes before the van pulled into a garage under an abandoned office block which wasn't really a huge surprise. There were hundreds of the damn things around and they made perfect hiding places for the less desirable elements of society. I paused, checking the building out from the opposite rooftop, confirming that there were no heat spots that could indicate habitation. After about five minutes a room suddenly blossomed with heat, as the three men dragged the franticly thrashing girl in and shut the door behind them. The blackout curtains did a hell of a job of hiding any trace of them from view, without the thermal view I wouldn't have know they were there at all.

“Control, this is special one, vehicle has stopped at 24 Parsons Street, request back-up no closer than a mile.”

“Copy special one, back-up is on route, eta ten minutes.”

“Copy control. Special one, out.”

Secure in the knowledge that the place would soon be surrounded I decided to get a closer look at what was going on. The street was a narrow one and I could make the jump to the other building without having to resort to any equipment. Once there I made my way silently down the fire escape until I was directly alongside the window. Making sure that my coat was covering my entire body so as to remove any chance of someone picking me up on a heat scan I edged my head around the corner of the window, the blackout curtains working in my favor now as they stopped anyone inside the room from knowing just how much trouble they were in. What I saw confused the hell out of me.

The girl had been stripped and was strapped to a metal X frame, hanging upside down. Below her what looked for all the world like a six foot long bed of feathers was undulating across her bare flesh in waves. Imagine a Mexican wave at a football game, scale it down and replace the fans with feathers and you'd replicate the sight perfectly. Whatever it was doing, it was having an effect on the poor victim, she was screaming, her face distorted as her mouth stretched wider than seemed possible. I couldn't hear what she was saying, they must have soundproofed the room for the occasion, but I got the general gist of it just fine.

What was odd was the men were simply standing around and watching. There seemed to be no attempt at interrogation going on, just a general interest in watching her suffer. I'd seen enough though.

“Control, special one requesting status of back-up.”

“Special one this is control, back-up is on route eta ten minutes.”

“What's the holdup control?”

“They've had to take a different route to avoid a fire fight on Oxford street special one, orders are to wait until they're in position before moving in.”

I looked back through the window, back at the girl writhing against her bonds as her body was assaulted by those maddening feathers.

“Control, negative copy on last transmission, victim is being tortured, beginning breach.”

“Negative special one, hold pos<crk>” I didn't need to hear the rest. If they wanted to disown me after this, let them, but there was no way I was going to stand back and watch this going on in front of me.

I took a breath, scanned the room and pulled my pistol out. A quick step back to the edge of the fire escape then a quick burst forward through the window. I landed on my feet and saw one of them bringing a gun around. Almost without thinking I brought my own pistol up and dropped him with a double tap that was definitely on target. Turning, I saw another diving headfirst for his own gun and a quick shot into his shoulder, and another into his knee made sure he stayed down. The third hadn't waited though and was coming straight at me with a long, curved knife.

I moved my wrist and a straight blade slide out from the holster strapped to my right forearm. There was a clang as I met his thrust with my own blade, my left arm coming up and grasping the wrist of his knife arm. I squeezed hard and he dropped the blade almost immediately. Pivoting I planted my right hand on his chest and gave one quick lift, throwing him into the far wall, back first and upside down. He slid to the floor, out cold.

I moved quickly to the rack and as I couldn't immediately see an off switch, simply cut the power cord with my wrist blade, thankful that the blade itself was made from a ceramic mix rather than a more normal steel construction. I checked the rack and found a simple lock mechanism that controlled the angle of the frame. Swinging the X-frame around so that the girl was facing the ceiling I cut her bonds and passed her my coat for modesty. She was still in shock, and I guided her over to a large armchair, the only other piece of furniture in the room, and turned back to the guy I'd shot in the shoulder.

“I'm gonna ask this once, I suggest you give me a straight answer. What were you doing with this girl, and on whose orders?”

The man wheezed on the floor for a moment as he tried to catch his breath. “Fuck you, I want my lawyer!”

“You know, as last words go, those really weren't the best you could have come up with” I said, reaching down and picking him up by the jacket, one hand locked around his throat as I moved back to the window and out onto the fire escape until the thug was dangling over a six floor drop to the street below.

“Wait! Wait, okay, pull me in and I'll tell you everything. Everything!” he screamed, as he felt my grip loosen. I yanked him back, throwing him down so that his feet were back in the room while his body and head lay on the fire escape.

“All I know is that we're paid to grab certain people, we're, we're told who to take, bring 'em here and strap 'em into that thing, hit that green button and let it work. It, it, it takes about an hour and then we take 'em down, put them back in the van and leave it here. We walk, come back tomorrow and pick the van up again, wait a day or two then get given another name. That's it, I swear!”

“Why don't I believe you?”

“No! No, I promise that's all I know, really.

“Well, it answers part one. Now what about part two? Who hired you for this?”

“I don't know, we just get given the job by our boss.”

“Who is?”

“The Dragon, okay? The Dragon. Lives up in Camden.”

“Really? Last I checked he lived in Edgware, I presume you mean he works from Camden?”

“Yeah, yeah. That's all I know, please, please don't hurt me, okay?”

I paused, then chopped down, hard, at the point where the neck meets the shoulder. The man fell to the ground, out cold, just as the regular police force burst through the door.

I waited on the roof, and after a few minutes heard footsteps coming up the fire escape. The rather large figure of Detective Williams rose into view and I gestured to an air conditioner unit next to me. He sat down and paused for a moment as he tried to regain his breath.

“So special unit one, do you have any idea how much trouble you've caused tonight? Ignoring a direct order, breaching without authorization, endangering the public and yourself, violating at least eight procedures...”

“Skip it Tim, you've seen that place, what they were doing. You'd have done exactly the same thing.”

“Yeah you're probably right, except if I'd tried that I'd have been dead before the glass hit the floor. Smoke?”

“No, thanks anyway but those things'll kill you just as sure as a bullet. ”

“Hey, the way you're going Snake you're gonna eat a bullet way before you'd have to worry about cancer.”

“Let me decide that, and cut it out with the Snake Plissken references, okay? It was funny the first ten times, get one of those script writers at the mayors office to come up with some new material or something. Any luck with the girl?”

“No, she doesn't know anything, other than seeming to consider you an angel or something. Oh, I left your coat on the fire escape, I presume you'll pick it up on your way out?”

“Thanks. I presume no-one showed up for the van?”

“Right, although one of our guys did pick up on something interesting going over the information that guy with the two bullet holes volunteered. Figure they were taking anything from three to five days to grab a girl, lie low and reset, they could only have taken five of 'em at the most, and we've got twelve missing, thirteen if you count this one.”

“Which means there's more than one group doing this, probably at least three, maybe four. Question is, why?”

“And there, I'm afraid, I have no answers whatsoever, not even a half-baked theory.”

“Great. I suppose that means you want me on the hunt again tonight?”

“If you're good to go, yes. You're going to go have a word with the Lizard?”

“Dragon, and yes.”

“Dragon, Lizard, whatever, just be careful okay? You're not invincible you know.”

“Trust me, I'm very much aware of that fact, though if you could not broadcast it to the whole of London I'd appreciate it.”

“Sorry. Good luck, and stay in touch with control this time.”

“Right.” I said as I dropped down to the ledge outside the window, grabbed my coat and then down again to street level. Ducking into a nearby alley I paused for a moment to get my bearings then headed off. Camden was a good four miles away, and I needed to make good time so for now at least I'd stick to the streets. As I ran I tried to work out what the hell was happening. Why on Earth was someone kidnapping all these women just to tickle them? Where did they go when the vans got picked up? And just what was going to be waiting for me in Camden?

cincinnatusc
05-11-2003, 04:29 AM
well, i liked it. i think i'll be looking forward to this series very much. one point of constructive criticism, if i may. i thought it a bit of a stretch that the agent would go in against orders to save a girl from tickle torture. perhaps if there was indication that she was going to be harmed before back up arrive i would have expected it, but otherwise i didn't think it very reasonable that the agent would risk it just so she wouldn't have to be tickled for ten minutes. then again, it is just a story, and there have been bigger technical lapses in well known books/movies than this minor one. but since you seem to take writing seriously, i thought i'd throw it out there. anyhow, i really enjoyed this one a lot, and i can't wait for more. thankyou.

BOFH666
05-12-2003, 05:22 PM
Thanks cincinnatusc, never have I been so glad to recieve constructive criticism as I was hoping that 'out of character' moment would stand out. Why? Ah, that'd be telling, though part 2 should start giving hints. If I get it right (and if my current couple of hours of actual free time <gasp> a night holds out to let me write this) this should go in three acts with a build up to the end of each. The ideas are there, now all I've got to do is write the thing ;)

Thanks agian, be interested to know what you think of the rest of this series.

guitman69
05-13-2003, 02:17 AM
Just read the first one, and wow! It looks like an interesting series.

AffectionateDan
05-27-2003, 05:36 PM
...Good stuff, very DC heros-calibre. Makes me glad the one I'm working on is set more in the past than the near future! I'd hate to think I was subconsciously plagiarizing! Can't wait to see the future installments! I'm stonewalling on mine, though. I'll get 'round to it! Keep up the good work, you silver-penned :devil: you!

BOFH666
05-27-2003, 05:53 PM
Lol, thanks man, though don't worry, I don't ever take legal action against subconscious plagarizing unless I'm really strapped for cash.

Currently trying to write a club scene that needs to introduce 20+ characters, 4 of whom are gonna crop up again down the line so need to stand out without being obvious about it, plus a couple of folks that are already in the world and a large-ish room stuffed to the rafters with suitably evillllllll devices (that don't rip off anyone elses ideas of course) all in the space of about two pages. Next time I have a bright idea, someone please shoot me, it'll be less painfull ;)

Oh, damn, forgot to mention, for no prize whatsoever can anyone spot the 'inspirations' for the hero? Couple are obvious, others maybe a little less so....

koplik
05-27-2003, 06:19 PM
Iroquis Pliskin/Solid Snake, and possibly the SPARTANs from HALO, but thats all i can think of. I like the story, and the addition of plot makes it that much more enjoyable.

guitman69
05-27-2003, 09:34 PM
The only thing I think of while reading this is J.C. Denton from the Deus Ex game. For those who didn't play it, he's a cybernetically enhanced crime fighter (specifically terrorists) who turns out to also be genically engineered.

AffectionateDan
05-29-2003, 07:43 PM
This is Part One, and I see Parts Three and Four posted... I don't wanna open them until Part Two shows itself! Where'd ya hide it?

koplik
05-29-2003, 10:56 PM
Dan,
The third/fourth have links to the second.

BOFH666
05-30-2003, 05:00 PM
Links to parts 2 (http://www.ticklingforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29486) , 3 (http://www.ticklingforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30206) , and 4 (http://www.ticklingforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30208) as requested.

Inspirational Characters: Good calls, but not quite there (and yes, I know there's an awful lot of options as there are so many characters like this out there these days). I try not to rip characters wholesale, so there's bits mixed in from all over, but as a hint here's the main ones and the media they're most famous in:

1 computer game character (recent game as well)
1 comic book character (any extra hint would make this wayyyy too obvious)
1 movie character (think rooftops and rain...)
1 TV character (I believe the show's been cancelled recently)

There's a whole host of other little bits mixed in there too, but them's the main ones. Actually, you can usually tell if I've seen a 'cult classic' film anytime recently as my brain tries to work in dialogue (see the Escape from... films for the quote in this part for example). Which is why I must NEVER write ANYTHING after watching Army of Darkness. :D