Rakk Stugg grunted as he slammed his fist into the ever-growing pile of smashed alarm clocks. Much to his annoyance though, the beeping was still playing. After smashing his armoured gauntlet into the crunchy heap a coupe more times, Rakk realized that, just maybe, the beeping sound was coming from somewhere else in the small, cramped crewship.
Pulling himself out of his old, shitty sleeping pod, Rakk inspected the room, making sure everything was in its old, crappy place. The old Grineer pipes, the rusty wall panels, the clunky, anti-degeneration equipment, it all reminded him of the old days. Before the blessings. The Twin Queens had chosen Rakk, blessed him with the Old Blood, made him into an immortal Lich.
Or so he thought.
With a snarl, Rakk climbed the stairs, following the sound of the beeping. It was coming from the cockpit. Rakk had stationed a couple of roller-turrets in there, but they were clearly incapable of hitting whatever button would turn off that noise.
Really, this battered old crewship was all Rakk had left. After his blessing, a Grineer General, one of the fancy-pants ones, gave Rakk a battalion of soldiers and sent him to Uranus, telling him to make the life of one specific Tenno a misery. Rakk had immediately recognized this Tenno. It was the horrible, ugly one that blew up all his comrades, stared at him for a bit, then stabbed him with a fancy knife. The Queens took Rakk away and turned him into a super soldier, so he cold get revenge on that degenerate scum.
Over the course of a week though, he and the Tenno had slipped past each other quite a few times. While Rakk had made a name for himself, spreading his influence across not just Uranus, but Saturn, Jupiter and Ceres as well, he only saw that Tenno a handful of times in person.
When they did eventually meet? Rakk didn’t want to think about it.
“Alright, alright! What is wrong with this damn ship this time? I’m gonna… Huh…”
Finally in the cockpit, Rakk scanned the room with his kuva-infused cybernetic eye, looking for the cause of the beeping. All systems though were nominal. Everything was fine. The beeping was coming from the dusty message console, its screen covered in a reddish brown soot. Wiping away the grime, Rakk slammed a nearby button, then checked to see who was actually sending his message.
He hadn’t wanted to think about his battle with that damn Tenno. But this message was forcing him to. Because it was that same damn Tenno who was trying to get in touch.
Simply put, he’d lost.
It had been a long battle against the small, speedy Warframe. Electric powers versus more electric powers, backed up with heavy weaponry on both sides, fighting over a pit of toxic, electrified waste. Pretty cliche, even by Rakk’s standards. They had finally run into each other in the shipyards of Ceres, in an old, semi-abandoned waste-filtration plant. Rakk had entered the stage, brimming with confidence, ready to face down a bright Tenno with nowhere to hide.
Yet somehow, slowly but surely, that Tenno wore him down. Both of them had run out of ammo, but only the Tenno had planned enough ahead to bring extra weapons. That hideous, infested staff cut through the armour of Rakk’s calf and sent him down on one knee. There, Rakk was certain he’d met his end. But nothing happened. The Tenno stared at him, ripped the standard Grineer tracking collar off Rakk’s neck, then left.
Ashamed, Rakk grabbed one of his legion’s spare crewships and fled, not wanting the Twin Queens to discover his failure.
And now that Tenno was trying to contact him.
Rakk rapped his fingers across the console, not sure what to do. He’d declined to view the message, but already, the monitor was beeping again. The Tenno was not giving up. Every time Rakk declined, there would be a couple of seconds of silence, before a new message would pop up.
Giving in, Rakk decided to accept this one. Maybe, if he did, the Tenno would leave him alone. With more than a few ounces of anger and regret, Rakk fat-fingered the accept button, and waited for the call to connect. A couple of seconds passed and the black screen switched to something overly yellow and hideous, the image of the Tenno who had defeated him.
“Hey, Mr Stugg, you there? How are you doing?”
“You ruined my damn career and my short damn life, how do you think I’m doing?” Rakk snarled, harsher than he intended. After all, this Tenno probably knew where he lived.
The Tenno shrugged, but didn’t appear to display any other emotions. This particular Tenno had two pairs of eyes, but its face was still somehow blank and featureless. “Oh, yeah, sorry about that, but I couldn’t just go and kill someone who put up such a good fight, you know? Good thing as well, because I need a good fighter, and I think you’ll do perfectly. So I’m here to make you an offer.”
“Yeah. An offer. One you can’t refuse.”
Rakk grabbed the nearby chair, pulled it over and sat down in it, almost… flustered by the Tenno’s words. “What… sort of offer?”
The Tenno had no mouth, but Rakk was sure it just smiled. “Oh, nothing much. I’m building a crew to help me take out some Corpus stanchions. Got my gunner and engineer already, but I need a big, armoured tank with an even bigger gun to protect them both while I’m busy sabotaging ships. You can do that, right?”
“Hm…” Rakk thought to himself. “What’s in it for me?”
The Tenno shrugged again. “Well, aside from the right to kill as many Corpus as you like, you’ll get a cut of any loot I pick up, and free meals at our dry dock… Plus, you’ll also be able to get off that tiny, shitty crewship of yours and spend some time in my Railjack. You know, a chance to do some good for once.”
“Hm… That… does actually sound like fun…” The Lich tapped his fingers on the console, going over his options. Although, that being said, there were no real options. It was either sitting here on his ass, or having a chance to kick other people’s asses.
“Sure Friend, why not? No hard feelings?”
“Nope, none at all!” The Tenno sparkled with joy and electric static. “So you’re on board?”
Rakk could see the Tenno tapping on its own nearby console.
“Alright! I’m sending you the coordinates to the T.O.A. dry dock now. Get your butt here as soon as you can, so I can introduce you to the rest of the crew! See you in a bit!”
The screen immediately went dark. Rakk tutted, but his tuts swiftly turned into a smile. Throwing his chair to one side, the Kuva Lich typed the coordinates into the crew ship’s autopilot, then stomped back downstairs to grab his trust Kuva Ayanga.
“If the Queens ever find out, I’m dead meat, but… this’ll be fun…”