Bounty Hunting, Commercial
A sport (illegal in many polities) where for a fee one is allowed to track and retrieve other sophonts.

Commercial bounty hunting is organized from some NoCoZo and some other free zone polities, which have invested in special polities where police forces are instructed to be careless so that those charged or arrested with serious crimes and being taken into custody are able to easily escape (those who don't are naturally not hunted). Adventure--seekers of aggressive temperament will come from all over the Civilized Galaxy to participate in this sort. There is even an option to play the victim, this requires even greater resourcefulness because one is at a disadvantage from the start. All participants have to first sign a non-liability agreement, and be shown to have made a recent copy of their genome and mindprint for retrieval, in the event of a fatality.

The sport of bounty-setting as a transapient hobby or pastime can have dangers for the transapients themselves. Among the infinitely varied range of mindsets in the Outer Regions are some secretive criminal organizations and even single hyperturing entities that do not appreciate being disturbed.

Bounty hunters face severe practical problems if they are too ambitious and attempt to operate against entities of higher toposophic grade. Encountering transapient organized criminal prey (or prey with affiliation to such entities) the Bounty hunter could find eirself vaporized, or coerced and/or memetically altered to attack eir own sponsor, sometimes with vastly improved stealth and attack capability.

To guard against this possibility most sponsored bounty hunters are secretly reconfigured to self destruct in a variety of ingenious ways if captured by a high singularity being not of good will (the hunters of course do not know this, but may suspect).

However these measures are not always effective, so the sport remains dangerous to all concerned in a very real sense.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Steve Bowers
Initially published on 08 October 2001.