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 Post subject: BY THE DUST OF 'EM ALL : CHAPTER 14
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:20 pm 
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Dax and Ren nodded to King Ace and his crew. Cold air rushing past them kicked up the sump waves around their skiff, a dense fog enveloping them made for a grim goodbye. They raced back to Down Town in silence, Ren frowning all the way.

As they anchored on a corroded dock, Ren turned to the Stranger.
“ See you around then slick, it’s been fun. Try not to die.” He said, leaping off the skiff and disappearing into the fog.
Dax half smiled and popped the collar on his leather coat and buttoned it. What a bastard he thought to himself. He was going to be making the trip home alone.

A mere two hours had passed while the Stranger had ran through the alleys of Down Town and up service ladders and across scaffoldings to reach tunnel that would lead back Uphive. So many lifts were out of order and so many tunnels were blocked with rubble or barricades. Fraggin scavvies and hive quakes he reckoned. He continued walking down a corridor until it opened up into a series of connecting walkways that lead to several dome exits. Nearing a blast door he stopped to catch his breath and have a sip of water. He swore he heard someone whisper his name.


Shots rang out and tore into the wall behind his head. The Stranger rolled to his left and drew his laspistols, instinctively firing in a sweeping motion.


Four more shots hitting the railing he was using as cover.
“ Frag ! “ he hissed and ran towards the blast door again.
He knew whoever was shooting was using a heavy caliber rifle, and they were just toying with him. He stood and fired downward, hoping the flash of his guns discharging would identify his attacker.


Three more shots slammed into the blast door. One actually ripping a fist sized hole into the Strangers’ coat and disabled the keypad for the door. Not only was the scum sucker a good sniper, but, he was getting to close for comfort. Enough was enough he told himself, hurling himself over the railing guns blazing, free falling towards the hidden shooter.

The lazfire kept the sniper from aiming as the Stranger dropped right onto him. The impact nearly knocked them both out as the walkway groaned and swung downwards. They grappled with each other for supremacy- kicking and head butting as the walkway lurched again. Dax bucked his enemy off of him with a massive kick, the shooter barely managed to grab hold of a guardrail as his rifle slid away into the darkness below. The Stranger gave him a boot to the face, breaking his nose. He unhooked his razor chain and whipped the him until his clothing and flesh ripped off his body. He laid into him again and again until the shooter finally slumped from the pain. Dax pulled his knife and jumped on his back, ripping off the hood his attacker wore. His face was augmented with bionics and his eyes were opaque.

“ You’re dead no matter what you say. Just tell me who sent you and the way you leave this world will be swift. “ Dax whispered into his severed ear, pressing the blades’ edge into his throat.

His attacker wheezed through his rebreather until his voice box clicked on, his metallic words, cold and inhuman.
“ No swift death for you. House Vega shows no mercy.”
Dax scowled and ripped the bastard Vegas’ throat out from ear to ear and stomped his skull until he was unrecognizable.
He caught his breath, wondering how many encounters like this lay ahead on his journey home

* * *

The burnished lantern dangling from the ceiling cast a pale gloom from its dirty olive bulb. The rusting ring it swiveled from groaned as if it protested against illuminating the cold dilapidated room. Dust swirled around the room as its occupant sat breathing slow and heavy. In his left hand was a lit cheroot, in his right he held six bullets. The bullets were polished to a fine sheen that even in the half dark they almost glowed. A large stub gun was laid on a makeshift table that may have once been a vent covering. Beside it was a bandolier belt, ammo inserted into it’s cracked leather. Muddy, battered boots stood upright near the occupants’ feet, the steel caps from its toe almost showing.

Satisfied to some degree the shadowy figure stood, exhaling his smoke and began dressing himself. Faded black shirt covered his scarred and tattooed body. Ripped factory worker trousers were held up by a thin leather belt. Turning to a small wall pocket he carefully slid into a ragged denim vest adorned with metal studs and emblazoned with faded logo. He sat for a moment, dragging the smoke into his lungs and pulled on his boots. Silently he opened a small tin and unfolded a gray headband. He smiled at the cross and fist stitched into it. He tightened it around his forehead and turned out the light.

The cold air and constant hum of generators and power converters greeted him as he stepped out from his shack. Without a pause he began marching down the alleyway that was his home and headed for the main drag of Dead Mans Hole. He passed by several juves and a few haggard women as he walked down the avenue –head high with his war face on.

Nearing the notorious Brasser’s bar, a familiar voice called his name.

“ Helmawrs fraggin balls ! Hex ? ! ? “ the voice said drunkenly.

“ Yes. Logan you’re drunk again aren’t you? “ Hex asked bluntly.

Logan just starred at his old friend in disbelief. “ I wasn’t sure if I was seeing a ghost or the Wild Snake got the best of me. “ he answered in a serious tone. He made a fist and raised it to Hex, who also did likewise.

“ Sober up and meet me by the old club house. I got some people to find and guns to buy. “ Hex said snatching the bottle Logan held.

* * *

The once popular and powerful Guilder known as David Faustos sat reading a data slate of his holdings, credits and properties. He had been making arrangements for all his assets to be safely placed under the control of his daughter. A daughter that hated him, but daughter that would avenge him nonetheless.
He was well into his eighty first year and yet he felt so much younger than that. His hairline had hardly receded and he was fit as he had ever been. Despite this, he was old and lacked any real power he once had. The only thing he had left was his reputation and that – yes, that was enough for him to still sway so many minds and ears.
He laughed inward at that notion. He had not been involved in the trade business for nearly two decades, but still the gangs, prospectors and House reps visited him daily for counsel. His recent partnership with the King of Down Town and his dealings with the Nomads finally drew to much attention. He could no longer control the avalanche of violence that was sure to hit.
He knew his worth in the scheme of things and realized that death at any one else’s hands but his own would only end more pointless bloodshed.
He closed the data slate just as a servitor entered his chambers. Unsheathing a thin dagger he slit both his wrists downwards, the blood flowing down his hands onto the diamond plate floor.
“ Please inform the local watchmen that I am ill and in need of assistance. Go now. “ He ordered the servitor.
It left without question.
David took one long last breath and closed his eyes.

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