Jon Trunick: Space Hunter #2

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knightofthechronicle

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Co-written and edited by the awesome@tommythehitman

There was a Firefight!

Like an idiot, Jon Trunick whistles tunelessly.

Lasers streak across the dining room, hitting everything but their intended targets. Jon, nestled behind an overturned table, waits for any kind of break in the shooting for an opportunity.

This is a wonderful mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”

“Shhhhh! No talking while I’m working, ARK.” Jon jokes, finally hearing his chance. With a break in the fire, Jon jumps up from his spot and tries to fire at one of his opponents, only missing entirely after his eye is blocked by his hood. Another wave of laser fire starts up and he drops back into his hiding spot. “Damn this hood! I can’t fire for nothing with it!”

Then why are you wearing it?

“BECAUSE IT LOOKS COOL!” A sudden concentration of fire narrows in on him and Jon dives for cover over at the nearby bar, several blasts singeing his hair and boots. Taking a breath, he takes the hood off and takes a quick sip from an open drink left behind. “Note to self, no yelling during fire fights. ARK?”

Jon?

“I love it when you say my name. You know that Irish fighting song I like?”

Unfortunately.”

“Let’s get that going, okay?”

ARK obliges and “I’m Shipping up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys starts playing loudly through Jon’s earpiece. With a hyped smile, Jon quickly stands up from the bar and starts widely firing into the dining room. Or what’s left of it.

Jon, and three other bounty hunters, are each tearing up the dining room of the Huswifery in their own special way. Before the four of them came in, many upper-class citizens of the galaxy were enjoying their evenings in one of the finest restaurants in this part of the solar system. Now most of them were either unconscious on the floor, catching a loose laser from the four bounty hunters, or outside placing bets on which of the four would win. At the literal center of it all, crouched under a table and covering his head with his four hands, was the owner, Jarvis.

Peeking through his fingers, Jarvis notices something across the room and screams at the four of them, “You scumsons broke a 700 year old vase! That cost me over 8,000 credits!”

A set of blasts focused at him stop him from complaining anymore and he goes back to cowering.

One of the other bounty hunters, a man Jon recognizes as Cruz, tries a direct shot at him, but Jon quickly ducks behind a cart. Beside him, from an overturned table, Jon hears the familiar sound of a shoulder hitting the table in a dive for cover. Smiling at his good fortune, Jon aims for a possible shin and fires.

“YOW!”

Together, Jon and the wounded bounty hunter leap from their spots, guns aimed at each other.

“Jon?”

Jon recognizes the bounty hunter instantly. “Dexter?”

Without a second’s hesitation, Jon stuns Dexter and the hunter crumbles behind the table once again. “You know him?

Jon peeks over the table to look at the unconscious Dexter. “Went to school together. He skipped the last reunion. Two to go.”

The sound of a body dropping to the floor signals Jon’s miscount. He turns around to see Cruz looking down on the other unconscious bounty hunter. Seeing how they were the only ones left, they train each of their guns on each other.

“Evening, Jon.”

“Looking good, Cruz. You gain weight?”

Cruz fires at Jon for the insult, sending him diving for the nearest cover. Jon reaches his arm out and fires blindly at Cruz, but doesn’t hear the satisfying THUD he was looking to hear. Instead he hears the unmistakable sound of a Trillulian Phantasm pistol charging right in his ear.

“You’re still an idiot, Jon,” Cruz says over him. Jon prepares a smartass comeback, but doesn’t get to say it. The sound of shattering porcelain splits the silence, and Cruz’s unconscious body falls beside Jon. He looks over his shoulder to see Jarvis standing over him, holding a broken vase in two of his hands.

“That one was only 100 years old,” Jarvis notes, although begrudgingly.

Jon looks down at Cruz. “Last idiot standing.”

Twenty Minutes Later

Jon pats Jarvis’ back while the restaurant owner nurses a tall glass of Nuvarian beer. For ten minutes straight, all Jarvis has been talking about is the amount of money it’ll take to repair the damage to the place. All the money the Butlering had attained from working as a servant had gone into the Huswifery, and now it had the architectural design of Swiss cheese. Much of the damage was caused by Jon, but he wasn’t going to bring that up just yet.

“-and the vases! Oh, Jon, the vases. Do you know how long it took for me to get those-“

“Jarvis, look,” Jon interrupts, “I’d love to stay here all night and wait for you to drink yourself to sleep while you complain, but I can’t. Me and those other guys didn’t come here to just shoot each other and enjoy the atmosphere.”

“But the atmosphere is good, yes?”

Jon can see the tears forming in Jarvis’ eyes. “Yes. The atmosphere is good. Listen, you were the butler to some of the greatest families in the galaxy, right? Did you ever do any work for the royals up at the Tristone Nebula?”

Jarvis looks at Jon with concern. “For forty years, yes. I served King Triniti and his family with honor.”

Jon mentally high fives himself over his good luck. “Know anything about their relationship with some crew that goes by the name of the Ribstone Raiders?”

Jon watches the color, which there wasn’t a lot of anyway, drain from the Bultering’s face. With shaky hands (which is impossible to miss considering he has four), Jarvis puts his glass on the bar and stand up from his seat. “Oh, dear.”

Jarvis starts to pace in front of Jon. “The…the Ribstone Raiders are not very well known outside of the Tristone Nebula. But…inside…they’re the worst of the worst. It’s said that they wear the bones of their enemies as decorative armor! Of course I’ve only heard rumors…”

“But did they have a relationship with the royals?”

“To my knowledge, no,” Jarvis stops pacing to take a sip from his drink. “But King Triniti was known to have dealings with some…questionable people over interplanetary trading. I remember one fellow that came to meet with him…yes if I remember correctly he looked to resemble a Raider but I wasn’t sure. He’s made quite a name for himself in these parts of the galaxy, I believe.”

“Do you know his name, by chance?” Jon wasn’t exactly wanting to make a sketch and try to find a man in a galaxy full of them.

“…Monk, I think.”

Jon sits up his chair like lightning just went through his spine. A large grin spreads across his face. He gets up from his chair, pats a confused Jarvis on the back and strides confidently towards the exit.

I take it you know him?

“And he knows me,” Jon says, smiling wider. “As soon as he sees me he’s gonna try and kill me.”

--------------------------------------------------------

Link to "I'm Shipping up to Boston" by Dropkick Murphys

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knightofthechronicle

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ImpurestCheese

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@knightofthechronicle: Hmm tis an interesting tale indeed, not sure where it's going, guess I'll find out in Part 4

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ImpurestCheese

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@knightofthechronicle: Still annoyed at @tommythehitman: he made so many promises to read the 5th Column stuff I'd written and then made excuses that he's busy, even though he can write his own stuff and read other people's work. As such it feels kind of targeted as dislike/disrespect/dis-something towards me. So I'm kind of boycotting his stuff until my ire burns out or I get an answer.

That said it's not worth punishing you over so I'll read your bits with no requirements other than a callout

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#6  Edited By cbishop
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@impurestcheese: I am 99.99% positive that you are overreacting. It is likely akin to when I say, "I will read this later," but it gets away from me. You are one of three or four peeps that posts super large amounts of material. It's hard to keep up. And when you move on to a new title, it's kind of "Okay, guess I'll read that other thing later." Sometimes "later" doesn't come. We've all got lives to lead offline, which means that unfortunately there isn't always time to catch up on the hobby reading/ writing. Take a chill pill- here's a picture of a bantam chick to make you feel better:

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ImpurestCheese

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@cbishop: You're probably right, just want to know why he promised multiple times that he'd read it soon and then never did, yet he can read everyone else's stuff. Kind of need him to catch up before I continue my 5th Column stuff because a lot changed during the course of that thing he hasn't read.

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#8  Edited By cbishop

@impurestcheese: That's just it, 'Cheese- it's much easier to read newer or shorter series than to catch up to series with 29+ chapters. Plus, you've changed the status quo for the character at least twice, so the older issues don't really have a bearing on the current stories. So with everything else going on, it gets forgotten. I try to catch your newer stuff, because there aren't a bazillion issues of backstory. ...It's kind of the nature of the Internet, y'know?

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ImpurestCheese

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@cbishop: I'm talking about an eight and six part completed series though, not the 29 part behemoth, I'd totally understand if it was the long series, not the short ones.

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@impurestcheese: Imp', I am (again) 99.99% positive that it is not personal. I've got at least 4 series that hardly anyone has commented on. It happens. I'm writing for me though. If others don't like it enough to comment on it, well, what can I do accept write another story? I know this is your getaway from real life (mine too) but you can't get hurt every time people are slow to react to your latest post. Enjoy the writing for itself, because you know how this place works- twenty read it, one comments. I just enjoy knowing that they're reading. Yes, it's more fun when folks comment too, but that doesn't always happen. It's okay, I'll write something else. I'm constantly surprised at which of my stories actually get comments. The Western I thought no one would be interested in? All kinds of comments. Who'da thunk it? ;)

@tommythehitman, @knightofthechronicle: I have to go back to part one and read this story guys. I'll comment properly soon (here's hoping). ;}

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@knightofthechronicle: Jarvis the butler turned restaurateur... uhhh-huh. :)

You and Tommy' writing together is a nice mix. Remember to call me out for following chapters. :)

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knightofthechronicle

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@cbishop: Thanks CB. You'll definitely be getting the callout

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@cbishop: It just feels like torture, spent the last two months beating myself up over the fact that him not reading is somehow my fault. Finally got angry enough to say something about it because I've literally been torturing myself every time I come on here over it, thanks to my Aspergers. Breaking a promise for us is among the worst things you can do to an Aspergers sufferer, we automatically blame ourselves for days, even weeks until we explode. Just doesn't seem fair is all.

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@impurestcheese: Okay, we've bombed this thread way more than enough. Take it to PM, okay? <puts arm around Imp's shoulder, gently takes her elbow with other hand, guides her away from thread while muttering calming words> ;}

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There was a Firefight! Have you been watching Boondock Saints??? :)

scumsons. What an excellent insult!

You pair have gotten a nice Firefly-like feel to this which is why I like it. Well done

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@batkevin74: Spot on with catching the Boondock Saints reference. Glad you're liking it BK