The air on Cree was technically breathable, according to the Interplanetary Health Advisory Board. IHAB published data showing that a human could survive for as long as fifteen years before the high levels of pollution forced the lungs to shut down. Therefore it was legal for citizens to choose whether they wanted to wear a mask on the planet.

Deen wore a mask despite having had surgery to adapt her respiratory system to the toxic elements of the atmosphere. As a successful mercenary, the woman had plenty of money to spend on body modification to the point that all her limbs were replaced with reinforced, ultra powerful and armour-covered alternatives. Computers in every part of her body continuously fed data to her brain and advanced nanobots flooded through her veins to heal the smallest injury as soon as damage was taken.

Recently, the cyber-woman had agreed to join a small independent company name-d DFD. Teaming up allowed her to be part of larger jobs and heists with greater cash rewards. They would split the money among the three current members; herself, Lyla and Mola.

Lyla was their leader. With a relatively untouched body, she had spent more time jacked into cyberspace in the last year than most people did in their entire lifetime, making her an excellent gatherer of intel and organiser. Meanwhile, Mola was a completely biological entity with the primal temperament to match. Deen wondered what an unenhanced and unstable person such as her could even contribute but Lyla assured her that Mola was an excellent driver and engineer.

“Engineer? I wouldn’t let any unqualified hobbyist techie anywhere near my nodes or drivers.” Deen scoffed, “I’ll stick with paying top surgeons and engineers from Delta Zone.”

“In the middle of combat when your arm has been blown off, you won’t be able to quickly pop to Delta Zone.” Lyla replied coldly.

At that time, Mola arrived in a stream of pink fumes from her motorbike. She looked like she’d barely graduated from puberty, with a skinny girlish body, twin-tails and belly top. She stood out as a splash of neon next to Lyla in her dark suit and Deen in her night-blue body armour.

“Heyy! What’s the job then, boss?” She screamed over the noise of her engine.

Lyla walked up and turned the engine off herself, unwilling to fight to be heard over its racket. “They’ve invented a new meta-human at Skin Corp. The Tobi Empire wants it destroyed because it’s too intelligent. Could be a threat.”

“So we’re breaking into Skin Corp?” Mola squealed happily, “Can we steal their latest leg model so I can study it?”

“I’ve got the latest leg model.” Deen interrupted and then added, “You can’t study it.”

Mola looked like she was about to kick off – something that didn’t concern Deen in the slightest – but Lyla skillfully changed the subject by beginning their briefing on all the entrances, exits, security measures, guards and more surrounding the central Skin Corp building. Deen drank down the information like wine, feeling it saturate into her intelligent limbs. Her arms could already feel the exact strength needed to enact on the F-class Duty Doors and her legs knew the spring needed to reach the second floor window next to the East corner blind spot. Mola listened carefully too; a rare sign of professionalism.

“Are we ready then?” Lyla asked eventually, “Any questions on the plan?”

“No,” Deen shook her head, “Let’s go and cut some corpos up.”

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