CW: Murder and gore

With the advent of cybernetic augmentations and their great costs came the opportunistic option of simply stealing cybernetics. However, due to cybernetics usually being stored in some high-security warehouse somewhere behind a bunch of security droids, it's far easier to kidnap people and rip the implants out of them. Within ten years "chromesnatchers" became a concept that people with augmentations would have to keep in mind when going into unsafe zones of the city.   The Chromesnatchers are bounty hunters and criminals who seek out and kidnap people with specific cybernetic implants in order to harvest them and sell for money. Some snatchers are quite specific, going after only high grade implants, while others pick people randomly off the street to butcher them and steal their implants.

He spotted her immediately. Not only did the description match perfectly, but her chip matched the target. Sadra Ilius, Illim, 16 years old, living in Hosmapur. Drax sighed, marked her on the tactical overlay and glanced at Carla.   Five minutes later, they were in a back room. The girl thought that they were just a couple of Redeye dealers and had a greedy smile on her lips. Her eyes shone with eagerness in the gloom and as Carla closed the door, the girl was bouncing on her toes with anticipation. The smile froze when Drax pulled out his gun and pointed it at her face.   "Wait!" she stammered. "What are you doing? Who are you?"   "Not the head." Carla commanded. "You might damage the implant."   Petrified, the girl stared at the gun pointed at her face. Tears clouded her vision. She couldn't speak. She tried, but all that came out was a whimper. Drax grunted and aimed squarely at the girl's heart. There was barely any sound from the silenced weapon, just a wet crunch as the bullet tore through her sternum, shredding her heart.   Carla caught the collapsing girl before she could hit the floor and gently lowered her down, careful as to not make any noise.   Drax pulled out a toolkit while Carla fixated the girl's head between her hands, turning her left cheek towards the ceiling. Carla glanced at Drax. Sweat was pouring down his forehead and she could see his jaw was tightly clenched.   "I can do it if you want. You don't have to."   He didn't pay her any attention, instead got to his gruesome work. Within minutes, with Carla keeping a steady eye on the door via her remote sensor, Drax had extracted the tiny implant from the girl's temporal lobe. He put the Secondary Buffer Storage in its assigned casing and got to his feet.   "Who the fuck uses a teenager as a mule?" he said to Carla, getting ready to leave. "Are we clear?"   "The same kinda asshole that hired us to collect from a teenager." she answered and nodded towards the door.
— Drax and Carla on a mission.
Alternative Names
Crimson Miners, Reapers, Butchers, Red Barons, Scrappers
Illegal, punishable by 4-16 years in prison.
Related Locations
Used By

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Most chromesnatchers are "benevolent" thiefs that only steal the implants but try their best to not harm the individual. They are not after torture, injury or pain, the just want the implants. These chromesnatchers usually work together with a black-market clinic that extracts the implants and provides the drugs necessary to keep the target sedated until the procedure is completed and they can be dropped off somewhere. Benevolent snatchers avoid complex procedures such as neurological implants and organ-replacements, unless they are limb-replacements, which are easy to steal and not life-threatening to lose. Chromesnatchers will not kill a target to steal their implants unless something goes catastrophically wrong.  

Red Barons

Mercenaries usually hired to repossess implants provided by a black-market clinic or to acquire rare and difficult implants, such as neurological implants and encrypted neuro-storage. Since neurological implants are incredibly difficult and sensitive to remove without harming the patient, these mercenaries usually prioritise the implant over the target, hence their reputation and name. For an added fee, they can also provide assassination services together with the repossession.  


Butchers are chromesnatchers without a moral compass, as if they had one to begin with. Butchers care nothing for the individual and will steal every piece of cybernetic implant they can get their hands on. Psychopaths and murderers just out for money. Do not expect to survive getting kidnapped by these people.

Cover image: by CC BY, Modified by Tobias Linder


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25 Jan, 2021 13:22

Poor Sadra.   At least it was quick.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
25 Jan, 2021 13:46

You can thank Diane Morrison for that text being so impactful. I had a lot of help from her writing it. But yes, poor girl. Many poor decisions led her down the path to this event...

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
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