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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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I thought season 1 was amazing. But, season 2 had way more of the action I was looking for and Punisher was such an awesomely fleshed out character. His moments with Daredevil especially were great.

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knightofthechronicle

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@tommythehitman: *Snooty voice* I feel, my dear boy, that you have a gift for the comedy.

Marvel just has the best villains, good Lord. I mean, I'm a DC fan mostly, but seeing villains like the Space Turnip just gives the warm fuzzies because of the originality. Kind of wondering what in the world Howard did to piss him off though. I mean, the guy could just be a fan of Donald Duck and not like how Howard looks just like his beloved character (that's how I'd feel). Anyways, good first chapter Tommy.

This going to be an ongoing or a mini?

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@impurestcheese: *Facepalm* Well, this makes Peacekeepers make so much more sense. I've got no idea how I missed this chapter, but it brings EVERTYHING into perspective.

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@tommythehitman: Good grief Tommy...glad you enjoyed the issue though

@impurestcheese: Yeah she'll be popping up now and again in the series. Kind of hope to have her appear a few other places too

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knightofthechronicle

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Chapter 3: Job Placement

So…things have been slow. Not for the city, though. I keeping hearing about the Response doing their hero shtick all over Indigo, Peacekeeper raising hell on the streets, and enough Carrier attacks to make any sane person want to move as far away from this city as possible (still haven’t figured out why no one does though). For me, though, I’ve been stuck at CBTF headquarters for months now, training. It’s a sweet gig, I’m not complaining. The apartment I’ve got here is better than my old one (this giant skyscraper doesn’t ONLY have offices), I’m an official CBTF agent (got a badge to prove it), and the food is decent. The only problem?

“I’m starting to get cabin fever and it sucks.” The woman across from me writes that down on her notepad, like it’s the first time I’m telling that to her. “You do realize that’s the same thing I told you last time, right?”

“Mmhmm.”

“Great, just checking.” I lean back in my chair and start twirling my finger, snowflakes beginning to dance around it. “Can you please tell me what the point of all of this is?”

“We have to make sure you’re the right man for the job, Mr. Kern.” She says, watching my little flurry show with more annoyance than anything else.

“Pfeiffer said I was the PERFECT man for the job,” I retort, getting annoyed myself. “I literally fell into your lap.”

“You’re arrival at the CBTF was a matter of luck,” the woman says. “For you. Just because you fit the bill doesn’t mean you’re right to go into the field.”

I catch the jab at the fact that I’d be dead if it wasn’t for the freak show they have locked up downstairs. Bubeck’s face runs through my mind and it makes me stop twirling snowflakes out of fright. I look at the woman and notice that the same look of annoyance on her face is the same as it face she’s had on ever since I’ve met her.

“You don’t like me, do you?” I say, to which her face doesn’t respond. “You’ve kept looking at me like that ever since we met. It can’t be something I’ve said, because the only thing I’ve talked about for weeks are those weird lemon squares you guys feed me. It’s because I’m black isn’t it?”

Immediately her face goes from serious to shocked, “What?! No! I’m not-I mean I would never-“

I smile, feeling a sense of accomplishment for finally cracking her. She gets my joke instantly and I see her fight the urge to slap me. Laughing, I say, “Sorry. That’s my go to thing to make people-“

“You’re unprofessional.” She states, back to seriousness. “The only reason you’re here is because Pfeiffer’s desperate; you know it, I know it. Someone like you should not be going into such a dangerous situation. This mission needs someone like-“

“Like you?” I see her lock up for a second and I put the pieces together. “You were one of the agents that was trying to get info on the Carrier camp, right? I guess by the way you were talking about it is that you were getting close until Pfeiffer pulled you out. You felt betrayed and now you’re taking it out on the guy that you know can get closer than you ever could.”

“How could you possibly-“

“I was a psych major before the Wars,” I say plainly. “But then a bunch of alien junk put a whole in the college and I’m stuck in a concentration camp. Never got too far after that.”

She sits up straighter, more than a little annoyed at me. “Yes, I was researching the camp before you came along. I never liked Carriers getting mixed up in our ranks, and my opinion certainly hasn’t improved with this mission.”

“I feel like we’re bonding now,” I joke. “Building bridges and all that.”

“You’re proving my point more and more.”

“I think being able to tell jokes in an uncomfortable situation is a good talent to have, don’t you?”

“Not when you’re being such a jackass,” she says sternly. “The people you’ll be meeting won’t hesitate to kill you if you piss them off.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, Agent…”

“Guild. Jasmine Guild.”

I smile. “Glad to finally get your name, Agent Guild.”

She smiles too, and I’m frightened by the sudden show of emotion, “You’d have to learn it sooner or later. I am your handler after all.”

Oh, wonderful.

Guild walks to the door of the interview room. She turns back to look at me, “You’re out in the field in a week. Be ready by then, no more jokes.”

She closes the door behind her. Her announcement sends a jolt of electricity through me. Finally, after months of waiting, I’m going out. The thought of actual sunlight is enough to get me excited.

I smile broadly, and the temperature around me drops a few degrees.

To be continued

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knightofthechronicle

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@tommythehitman: So worth the wait. I loved how everyone came together to beat Dervish (I'm using that ringtone for Diver in the future). The classic villain helping villain thing at the end was cool, too. Are we ever going to get how Dervish came into the main 5CC world?

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knightofthechronicle

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@impurestcheese: Interesting. Very interesting Imp. You really finished this thing up fast. It was really cool to see Ink-Cap back in the fold of things too. Cassie and Terra now becoming one personality wise (with Terra still being around) is really interesting