Co-written and edited by my bro @tommythehitman
Part 2 of 2
The man named Monk wasn’t really a monk. In fact, he wasn’t much of anything at the moment except dazed, confused, and pissed. The ‘sword’ sticking to his shoulder and pinning him to the ground was a Trillilion Taser Triton, designed to pin the target on contact while sending random bursts of electricity through the body for an extra measure. They were damn near foolproof and flarking annoying. But, the good news is, he was at least getting a show.
The idiot about-to-be formally known as John Trunick looks like a combination of scared and turned on, which is a new level of strange considering he’s got a shotgun pointed at his crotch. “You…uh…got a new haircut.”
Monk could almost laugh. Jon had been trying one liners on the female bounty hunter Amy Strongborn for a good five minutes now. He’s only made Strongborn scarier.
“Jon, please,” Amy moves the shotgun closer, “shut up. Give me the computer stick now before I take away the one thing you love.”
“…we’re nowhere near my vintage Xbox.”
Amy’s eyes go wide in rage and she steadies herself to shoot Jon’s cojones off. Without warning, the room shakes tremendously and the ceiling collapses on itself, raining stone over the three occupants and knocking Monk out cold.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Jon can’t believe what he’s seeing.
The man-child’s eyes grow wide in awe as a figure dressed in white and red armor descends dramatically into the room from the gigantic hole in the roof, his jetpack giving him the appearance of fiery, blue wings. His left gauntlet, still smoking, bears the unmistakable shape of a Bombardier Z270. Jon can swear he’s about to wet himself.
Both he and Amy, one in awe and another in annoyance, say in unison, “Rucka.”
The galaxy famous bounty hunter touches down on the floor and walks confidently towards the two, Amy’s shotgun still posed to shoot off Jon’s very precious nether regions. Rucka’s eye lenses glow a bright blue as he looks at the two of them unemotionally. “And what’s going on here?”
“#keepingjonalive?” Jon ventures, drawing stares from both of the bounty hunters with his centuries old joke. He chuckles nervously, “Worth a shot?”
Amy turns to Rucka, “This idiot might have gotten here first, but I’ve got claim on the information now. Fly away on that fairy pack of yours, Rucka.”
Jon feels like arguing over the ‘idiot’ remark, but Amy has all the right to call him that. He was, after all, fully to blame for breaking them up two years ago. Apparently accidently burning down your girlfriend’s new home while planning an anniversary flaming juggle routine was not a good relationship move.
“Same old Amy,” Rucka says, studying the red head. “Haven’t changed a bit since we did that job last year.”
“You mean the one that you cheated 20% off of me?” Amy cold responds, slowly moving her shotgun to her side. She and Rucka start to argue about who cheated who and Jon takes his chance, crawling ever so slightly away from the bickering hunters. He gets a good two inches before he hears the sound of two collective guns cocking.
“Don’t move a muscle, Trunick.” Rucka commands, walking around to face Jon. “Got somewhere better to be?”
Jon bites his tongue from geeking out over the weapon (a Yukon J897) pointed at him, and smiles his famous, roguish smile. “Just felt like getting a better position is all.”
Rucka looks from Jon to Amy. “You dated this guy?”
“Let’s not mention that. Jon, hand over the computer stick.” Amy starts kicking the rubble absentmindedly, but levels her shotgun on Jon’s chest. “I’d like to get off this dirt planet as soon as possible.”
Rucka automatically points his rifle at Amy, “And there lies the problem. There’s two of us and only one computer stick. Last time I checked those things don’t split three ways.”
Amy raises her shotgun at Rucka, “You’re right, they don’t.”
Before Jon can blink an eye, the two hunters open fire on each other, Amy diving for cover behind some of the roof chunks while Rucka takes the blast of her shotgun, an invisible force field protecting him. Amy leaps from her cover, throwing another Trillilon Triton from her coat pocket.
Rucka knocks it out of the air with ease and advances on the red head. He fires on her as she leaps acrobatically through the air and into the next room. Rucka follows her fearlessly and Jon can hear their firefight as it recedes into the depths of the compound.
Does anyone take you seriously, Jonathan?
“Oh, hey ARK, good to hear from you again,” Jon says sarcastically. “Where were you five minutes ago when I was about to get blown away?”
Listening. Happily. Amy still holds her grudge on you.
“Yeah girlfriends are like that.” Jon gets up from the floor, dusts himself off, and examines the computer stick from his coat pocket. From a distance, Jon could hear the firefight still ongoing. “I don’t think they’ll miss me, do you?”
I certainly would not.
Jon smiles and goes to leave before he remembers something. Searching the room, he finds the unconscious Monk still pinned to the floor by the Triton. Jon turns the Triton off, releasing Monk, and pockets the weapon. The bounty hunter looks his friend over to make sure he’ll be okay, when his eyes rest on something interesting. With a devilish smile, he takes the belt of grenades from the criminal and whispers, “Pay you back later, buddy.”
- - - - - - - - - - - -
The fight had led Amy and Rucka into a cavernous opening of the compound. Both of the bounty hunters were nowhere near tired, and instead where equally enjoying trying to shoot each other’s brains out.
Amy fires at Rucka’s ankles, a weak point she had pinpointed on his force field, and the man stumbles to the ground. Without missing a beat, however, Rucka uses his crouched position to steady himself for a blast of his Bombardier. The bunker-busting missile obliterates Amy’s hiding place, but the female bounty hunter is already in the air before it hits, gun aimed for another blow to Rucka.
Suddenly, the sound of distant explosions echo into the cavern, causing both bounty hunters to stop their heated battle. They both look at each other in confusion, neither of them wanting to admit what they just let happen.
They both rush out of the compound towards the area of their parked spaceships, or at least where they used to be. Two smoldering, blackened husks are what’s left of Strongborn’s and Rucka’s ships. They both look up as a spaceship breaks out of the atmosphere above them.
Amy’s breathing intensifies, her rage boiling over for her ex-boyfriend. She and Rucka both scream after the disappearing ship.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
A silver dart shot back into the blackness of space as Jon sat down in his ship’s pilot seat, leaving behind the memories of his ex-girlfriend and the inhuman monstrosity that made him nervous when he was alone.
Nice work back there, Jon. ARK says in a very rare compliment. Jon grips the controls of the ship and smiles slightly.
“Thanks, ARK. My father always said, ‘if you can’t beat them, wreck all their flib and run’.”
“Wise words to live by,” Monk grumbles as he slumps down into the seat behind Jon. His shoulder is bandaged from the Triton wound and his skin has become even more pale than usual.
“Where the hell are we going, Trunick?”
“I don’t know,” the bounty hunter admitted. “I’m not in the mood to go fight psychotic bandits.”
He glanced back over his shoulder, like he was looking down at the planet they’d just left. “And if Amy and Rucka don’t know where the Raiders are…then that means..”
His eyes glimmered slightly and a broad grin broke over his face. “Holy flib! I’m in the lead!” He cheered and stood up from his seat, letting the auto pilot take over. “ARK! Put on some Elvis Presley to celebrate!”
“You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog!”
The old music crackles through the ship’s speakers, making Monk wince as if his ears were bleeding. He looks at Jon’s happy face and sighs. “What the hell is this?”
“Dude, it’s Elvis Presley,” Jon says. “It’s freaking blargballs.”
The alien bandit rolls his eyes and relaxes in his seat. He looks out the cockpit’s view screen into the ocean of stars before them and gives a tired look.
“So, what are we doing now?” He asks, “What’s the plan?”
Jon scratches his head.
“I dunno.” He admitted. “Wanna get a drink?”
Hound Dog by Elvis Presley, so you can celebrate along with Jon.