Part 1 of 2.
Based on true events.
A shining blaze glared down from the heavens, generating scorching temperatures to match the heat created by the desert spreading across the planet of Mctoan. It was quite the sight... and as the sky ripped open, a silver chariot with the wings of a hummingbird began to fall towards the planetoid, giving off the image of a fireball as a blaze began to rip across its hull.
"Pull up!" The bandit, Monk yelled from the ship's cockpit, his pale skin turning a shade of green as Jon Trunick pulled desperatley at the controls. "Pull up now, damn it!"
The ship lurched up as its pilot slammed on the brakes, the vessel hovered above a sand dune, inches away from colliding with the ground. Both Jon and Monk let out sighs of relief before slumping back into their seats.
"Told you I had it." The pilot said as he adjusted the gears and began to land the craft.
"You really didn't." ARK said once the ship was safe and sound. "That was the exact opposite of 'having it'."
Jon pretended to laugh the comment off and quickly did a check of his body to make sure he was still completely intact. Then he checked on the data stick in his pocket, the one containing information on the Ribstone Raiders and their current whereabouts.
"I hate flying..." Monk grumbled as he stumbled towards the landing ramp, the ridges on his skull seemed to be twitching with anxiety. "I hate it even more when YOU'RE the one who's piloting!"
The bandit and the hunter stepped out into the desert and looked to the small, sandstone building in the distance. A sign on the roof read 'Bleezbag's Cantina. All welcome!'
"You've got spacelag?" Jon chuckled as they began to make their way towards the cantina. "It's nothing a couple drinks won't fix."
A loud crash seemed to shake the planet as Jon kicked the door open to the cantina, light scuttled into the establishment, causing the bar's patrons to glare at the place's unwelcome visitors.
"Beer time!" Jon yelled with a grin, Monk just pushed past and made his way towards the bartender.
"Keep it down, starkhole!" An alien with an anvil for a head yelled from the corner, a multitude of alcoholic beverages surrounding him.
"Sorry!" The bounty hunter apologised before closing the door behind him. "Sorry..." Slowly the rest of the bar went back to their drinks, and the bobbleheaded band on the stage continued their repetitive, seemingly endless song. Jon joined Monk by the main barstand and took a seat.
"What'll it be, fellas?" The barkeeper asked, his body resembling a pig from Jon's home planet. He polished a glass with his trotter and gace a knowing nod to Monk.
"Couple of beers for me." Monk grumbled, head in the palms of his hands as he tried not to pass out from exhaustion. "Yipyam milk for the kid."
"What?! But I-"
The bartender ignored Jon's protests and started pouring their drinks, putting a special bendy staw in the hunter's glass.
"That's 15 glibglibs."
"I... I don't know what that is." Jon said, taken aback by the foreign currancy. "Is that a lot? Am I being ripped off?"
Monk reached into his pocket and passed a bunch of green coins to the owner. He then took a gulp of his beer and turned to his friend.
"Listen, Jon." He said, eyes locked onto the milk glass. "You're gonna need your senses on point if you wanna take on the Raiders."
"I know, Monk. But it's not like I'm going after them any time soon." Jon took a sip of his glass and wiped the liquid from his stubble beard. "I've gotta get prepared. Geared up." He explained. "Get some guns, ammo..." Jon paused to think. "Get some new background music." He added.
"You're gonna die, Trunick." Monk snorted before drinking one of his beers in another quick gulp. Jon smiled and finished the rest of his milk, changing his grin to a look of disgust like he'd been stung by a bee.
"We're all gonna die, Monk." Jon said as the two clinked glasses. "May as well get paid for it."
A moment of silence passed between the two men, with the only sound in the rest of the bar being the band still playing on stage.
"Right." Monk finally said afrer an eternity. "About the stick. It'll tell you everything about the Raiders. Who's running them, how many members they've got, but their base is pretty close. So damn close I may as well tell you where it is."
"They're on Parthanaan. The mining planet. They took over one of the platforms and built their own-"
A loud sound from outside gained the attention of everyone in the bar, Monk looked up from his drink and looked to the entrance.
"What the blarkin' is going on out there?!" The barkeeper yelled before stepping outside into the sunlight. A loud noise similar to a roar filled the air, and before anyone could wonder what was happening, gunfire ripped through the walls and the bartender's torso. Immediately Jon and Monk fell to the ground, avoiding the energy bolts flying through the air.
Somehow the band was still playing.
"Oh flib!" Monk grumbled upon looking at the charred, bacon smelling body in the entrance to the cantina.
"PATRONS OF THE CANTINA!" A loud, menacing voice boomed, shaking the building. "REVEAL YOURSELVES AND I SHALL SPARE YOUR LIVES!"
Jon poked his head up from the ground, hood covering his eyes due to the way he'd fallen.
"Who's that?" He asked in a hushed whisper.
"Probably the guy who just tried to kill us." ARK said in his ear.
"That's Minster Bar'Tux." Monk said, sweat dripping down his head. "The leader of the Ribstone Raiders."
Once again, Jon smiled at his fortune, he ignored the scent of cooked bacon and got into a low crouch.
"Awesome." He said. "You wait here, I'll go shoot this guy in the back." Without a care, the young bounty hunter made a beeline towards the cantina's back entrance, pistol already in his hand. Monk started to protest behind him, but the hunter ignored him, stepping carefully out into the bar's parking lot.
"What are you doing, Jon? We need a plan!"
Jon used the parked vehicles as cover while making his way around the building's side.
"Come on, ARK." He whispered. "It's just a few bandits. How bad can they..." That was when Jon witnessed the Raiders camped around the front of the building. "...be." He finished, almost choking on his words. Before the lone gunman was no small raiding party... it was an army of dozens. Easily more then fifty bandits, all wielding weapons and all consisting of different species spread across the universe.
"Wow." Jon said, completely stunned. He looked down at his tiny pistol and felt intimidated. "I'm gonna need more ammo."
The sound of a pistol charging made the hair on the back of Jon's neck stand up. He glanced slightly over his shoulder to see a feminine figure aiming a gun at him from the parking lot.
"Get up." The raider told Jon once she got close to him. Jon did as she asked, holstering his weapon and letting out a sigh. "You are in so much trouble." She promised before pushing him forward, right into the bandit crowd.
"That's what most women say." Jon said as they stepped into the center for everyone to see. A hush fell over the Raiders as a large, hulking man stepped forward.
He was dressed in silver body armour, with a red hemet covering the entirety of his face. A black cape was draped over his shoulders and what appeared to be a large sword was hanging from the leather belt around his waist.
"And what's this?" Minster Bar'Tux asked, head turning to focus on Jon. "A warrior brave enough to try and face me?"
"Nay, sir." The female raider stood by Jon pointed her weapon to his skull, prodding him slightly. "An assassin, skulking in the shadows."
Jon winced slightly and began to step towards the Minister. "Well... I wouldn't say 'skulking'." He joked with a nervous chuckle. "More like 'sneaking'."
"Do you wish to face me, coward?" Bar'Tux asked, ignoring the attempt at humour. "Do you desire to vanquish me in glorious battle?"
An uncomfortable silence began to seep in, as Jon considered his options, it was like everyone was holding their breath while waiting for his response. However, before he could respond, a slug like creature dressed in a tuxedo moved next to Bar'Tux, an electronic device over his eye.
"He'ssssss a bounty hunter!" The slug exclaimed with glee, proud of his discovery. "Jon Trunick of Earth! He's come for your head, Minisssster!"
Jon took a deep breath and began to back away towards the bar, attempting to form a plan in his mind.
"A hunter? Well done, Inquisitor Slyme. If this man hunts combat, I say we give it to him."
The crowd all began to cheer, and before Jon could even think, the Minister was marching towards him with nothing but his fists ready for attack.
Unarmed combat? Jon could work with that. Before Bar'Tux could get any closer, Jon whipped out his pistol and fired a shot of golden energy, aiming for the raider's heart.
However the shot merely bounced off the Minister's chest and he continued his march. A look of horror filled the bounty hunter's face and a strong fist smashed into his skull, sending him staggering back.
Bar'Tux struck again, smashing his gloved hand into Jon's stomach, almost lifting him off the ground without any effort. The hunter tried to return a punch, only to be met by the soulless clang of steel as he struck the Minister's helmet.
The rest of the fight continued in a similar manner until Jon Trunick fell to the ground, exhausted. Once more the crowd cheered at their leader's success... and slowly the Minister picked the hunter up by his hood and raised him into the air.
"I want this sent across the galaxy!" He ordered to his men. "This is what will happen to those who dare defy me! If anyone believes they can subvert my power then the pain I've inflicted to this poor fool will be a mere fraction of what I deal to them!" With a loud roar he slammed Jon's unconscious body into the ground.
"Excellent!" Inquisitor Slyme said, clapping his hands. "Excellent work, Minister." Bar'Tux was breathing heavily and slowly began to calm down.
"What are your orders?" The female raider asked.
Minister Bar'Tux turned to the cantina and unsheated his sword.
"Kill them." He ordered. "KILL THEM ALL!"