I love his artwork, his style was truly one of a kind. He will be missed. Rest in peace, Mr. Cooke.
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The Dark Knight Returns! Edited by the legendary @tommythehitman
“YOU’RE AN IDIOT!”
“You’re an idiot.”
“Okay, is it just ‘All Females Pick on Jon Trunick’ Day or what?”
The voices of ARK and Princess Glimmer yell at Jon in their own special ways while the bounty hunter runs towards his ship. Princess Glimmer (who in Jon’s opinion is only a princess by NAME), beats on his back in a half-baked attempt to get him to drop her from his shoulder. Between the noise of the two voices in his ears, Jon makes out a new sound growing behind him. He looks behind his shoulder, wets himself a little, and picks up the pace. “ARK, start the engines.”
The sound grows louder.
“ARK! Start the engines!”
Behind him, Jon can hear the sound of growing thunder as Ribstone Raiders literally start sprouting from the ground and chase after him. His best guess is that they were inside some kind of underground bunker underneath the city and hid out while the shooting was going on. Either way, they were out, pissed, and not ready for him to walk off planet with the princess.
“OUCH!” The princess gets a square hit on one of the many bruises still healing on Jon’s back. “I’m about ready to leave your sparkly @$$ here!”
The amount of money being offered for said sparkly @$$ is displayed on Jon’s visor and he feels himself hold the princess tighter. “Making sure that you keep your priorities straight, Jonathan.”
ARK’s cargo door starts to close as soon as Jon and the princess get on board. The mob of Raiders hit the ship as soon as the door safely closes shut. Jon rapidly straps the still struggling princess into the seat. “ARK! Get us out of here now!”
Jon immediately wishes he hadn’t said that as he feels the ship perform an immediate vertical takeoff, slamming the bounty hunter to the ground as the force of gravity pins him to the metal floor. Princess Glimmer looks down on Jon in mock concern. “Ouch, that looked like it hurt.”
The ship settles into ARK’s flight path and Jon feels himself able to get up off the floor. He dusts himself off in an attempt to salvage whatever coolness he has left and walks off towards the cockpit. “You’re a pleasure to be around-“
“-kid.” Jon stops mid-sentence. “…Bananas.” His voice comes out in its regular, unaltered (but still rugged) tone. He feels around the back of his new helmet and feels a crack running down it. “Damn. Broken. Oh well, still look cool at least.”
“You look like an idiot.”
Jon quickly closes the door to the cock pit, “Sorry, can’t hear you over the sound of my coolness!”
He settles into his seat and studies himself in the mirror he keeps by the dashboard. “Yep, totally cool. ARK, how long till we get to Daddy Glittercash?”
“Arrival at Tristone Nebula in two hours.”
“Gorgeous,” Jon leans back in his chair and lets himself rest for the first time in days. “ARK, my victory music please.”
He falls asleep to the sound of Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls” blaring through the loud speakers and Princess Glimmer’s screams for him to turn the music down.
Across the galaxy, Amy Strongborn watches the news film roll across the screen, nursing her beer as the rest of the bar cheers on some Slugyorn race on the other screen. Her eyes grow wide as news begins to roll in of a massive attack on the home planet of the Ribstone Raiders. The body count is the double digits, and travelers near the planet describe a large, hummingbird shaped ship leaving the planet around the time the attacks happened. If she wasn’t feeling low already, Amy feels the sudden need to drink herself under the table.
“Trunick,” She vows, knocking her drink back down her throat. “I swear I’m going to kill you.”
With these words, Amy leaves the bar without paying for her drink and makes her way towards her new space ship.
“Uh, ARK, cut the music.”
The guards surrounding Jon didn’t look as welcoming to him as he thought they would. He wasn’t expecting a parade thrown in his honor or anything, but he at least expected a smile or a greeting of welcome into the castle of King Triniti as he presented the king’s long, lost daughter. Instead, what appeared to be each and every guard in the castle were pointing their energy spears at him and threatened him with stab induced death he spoke again.
Maybe it hadn’t been a good idea to park on the castle’s fountain garden…
“Jonathan Trunick.” A voice rings out merrily, making Jon breathe a little easier. “You’re reputation proceeds you.”
A man dressed in fine robes and sparkly complexion parts through the guards and stands happily in front of Jon and Princess Glimmer. He spreads his arms to the princess and with begrudging obedience she walks into his hug. Jon smiles at the awkward family moment and presents himself to King Triniti.
“I’m glad that I could live up to my reputation.”
The king looks at him surprised, “Actually, Mr. Trunick, if you lived up to your reputation, you would have apparently crash landed on my planet, caused it to self-destruct in some ridiculous fashion and then impregnate my wife.”
Jon feels his self-confidence shatter. “Well…maybe not in that order, your Majesty.”
The king gives the bounty hunter a pity laugh and puts his daughter in the charge of two guards. They walk off, leaving Jon, the king and the rest of the palace guard behind.
“I cannot begin to express the amount of joy that’s running through me right now, Mr. Trunick,” the king proclaims, beaming from ear to ear. “You will be remembered in Tristone Nebula history for this heroic action, I promise you that.”
Jon puffs out his chest a little bit, “I’m not so sure that’ll be necessary, your Majesty. All I need right now is my payment and I’ll be on my way.”
Jon sees the unmistakable drainage of happiness from the king’s face (having seen that in his own reflection before on multiple occasions). The king shifts his weight a little before clearing his throat and motioning to one of the windows in the chamber room.
“As you flew here, Mr. Trunick, did you see the condition of my royal planet?”
Jon thinks about it for a moment and remembers seeing some pretty heavy fighting happening in some of the fields as he had flown by. He had not really payed attention to them as his eyes were filled with dollar signs to care much about anything else. “If you’re talking about the fighting I saw, then yes, I’ve seen the condition of the planet.”
The king smiles meekly, “Allow me to explain. The Tristone Nebula has been ruled by my family for sixteen generations. Such a long royal lifespan does seem to draw enemies to it, you met one of them in the form of the Ribstone Raiders. One of my family’s oldest enemy tribes has recently resurfaced and started a civil war in my kingdom. I’m…afraid that all of my resources have been funneled into the war effort. The amount of money that I posted for my daughter’s retrieval can…no longer be awarded.”
The king continues to smile at the bounty hunter as Jon works over the information that the king has just presented. ARK’s voice comes in over his earpiece, “He’s saying he can’t pay us, Jon.”
“Yeah, yeah I got that,” Jon tells her, and then address the king. “Sir, I’m sorry, but I’ve gone through a lot for this bounty. I’ve been shot at…a LOT. I’m pretty sure about triple the amount of times I’m normally shot at. I’ve had to face some of the galaxies number one hard asses to get here. I even lost a good friend because of all of this. I can’t just NOT be paid.”
Too late, Jon realizes that he has been advancing on the king as he ranted. He feels the strong hands of royal guards seize him and pull him back a safe distance from King Triniti. The king, meanwhile, had lost his meek smile. “You’ll do well to remember who it is you’re talking to, Mr. Trunick.”
“I’m not leaving this war torn planet without my bounty.” Jon states stubbornly, feeling the guards’ grip on him tighten.
“Then I guess you won’t leave,” Triniti says matter-of-factly. “Guards, throw him the dungeon.”
The guards immediately begin to drag Jon away.
“And give me his helmet, it looks cool.”
The helmet is removed from the bounty hunter’s head and given to the king, who admires it happily. Jon screams at the monarch, using every profanity he knows in the entire galaxy until he feels a swift blow to his unprotected head, knocking him out cold.
To be continued