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|Pages: (16) « First ... 14 15  ( Go to first unread post )|
Posted: Jul 10 2008, 12:00 PM
Member No.: 269
Joined: 20-November 06
"Sounds like a deal Kaj," Werner whispered back. He didn't trust Kaj at all. Why share 50/50 when you can get all the money? No doubt that would be Kaj's thoughts. Nevertheless, he was right. There was more money on offer if the others weren't there to claim it. Werner readied himself, drawing a bead on the nearest warrior. He cursed the planning that had gone into this. How did he know when the others were in position? He decided to wait for them to open fire. Then he would follow suit.
Hezekiah’s first shot hit a lone native nearest to him. The man collapsed with a sigh. No doubt the exquisite poisons would have already destroyed his nervous system, leaving the man a gibbering wreck with only the most marginal control over himself. The cruelty in it amused him.
At the quiet ‘phut’ of the needle rifle, the others in his group opened fire, Werner and Kaj quickly following suit. Their fire cut down a large number of the natives. Their response was one of born warriors. Most seized spears and sought what cover there was. Spears a meter long whistled through the air towards both groups of hunters, their places obvious from their weapons fire.
Hezekiah screamed as the spear entered his leg. A foot of it emerged from the other side of the leg. The pain was excruciating. He gritted his teeth, cursing himself for his weakness even as he groaned. Miles glanced at him before continuing his fire on the camp. Hezekiah reached for his belt, pulling a pill out of a yellow colour. He swallowed it, waiting for it to take effect as he lay in agony.
The warriors seemed to be abandoning their camp, getting to the safety of the jungle. Silon took advantage of this, running stealthily forward to the mark and managing to cut the ropes holding her to the tree before heaving her before him into the darkness of the jungle. The rest of the hunters kept up their fire on the remaining enemies, though they all noticed Silon get the mark. Only three natives remained in the camp, the rest dead or escaped into the jungle.
Silon found himself away from the fight, alone with the girl. Her arms were bound tightly to her sides all the way from her shoulders to her wrist and about halfway down the tentacle on her right hand. The bindings seemed to be some kind of rough vine. It was the only thing on her body. He examined her for any signs of outward hurt as she lay bound on the jungle floor. She spoke.
“You are just like me.”
Her gaze was intent on his shoulders. Silon glanced down. A large strip had been ripped away, revealing his scales to the cool jungle air. He grabbed the vines and flipped her over, facing the ground. She knew his secret. He reloaded his gun as she babbled.
“I had no choice. I was his whore. A kitchen maid picked at random until he got bored. The God-Emperor didn’t answer my prayers. I appealed to anyone in help as he rutted with me. And then I was given power. Using the gift I was given, I choked him until he died. I had to run, they would kill me. It wasn’t my fault. Please don’t, please I’ll do anything….”
His shotgun loaded, Silon lowered it to the floor and instead drew his Revolver, which he pointed at the back of the girls neck. The weapon gave an audible click as he did so, and one shot was all he needed to end her life.
"And you see an alternative? Tell me what I am to do, having hidden this curse so long. Tell me why I should risk everything and spare you, trusting that you will not speak on this. I am sorry for you, but you must know there is no way you can live like this. They will find you, and they will kill you because of what you are, what we both are. I am lucky, I can hide, and with the money your body brings I can escape this world, hide elsewhere, even futher from the eyes of the emperor. Tell me why I should give my future for yours."
"Why? Why? Killing me so you can live somewhere else. I can be rid of this and hide like you, just save me. " she cried into the jungle's loam.
Silon's finger rested on the trigger for what seemed like an eternity, as he wrestled with his thoughts. He had never before felt pity for a mark; they had always been deserving of their fate, but he felt this one was different. Like him, she did not deserve this. With a barely audible sigh, he pulled a knife from his coat and cut her free, still keeping the gun trained on her, albeit in a slightly relaxed grip.
"Run into the forest, and stay out of sight. I'll try to deal with the other hunters, or at least put them off the scent, and if I can will join you; you won't survive out here on your own for long."
Turning back in the direction of the rest of the group, he covered up his scales once more and wondered what to do...
Part 2 due within 3-4 days.
Viva la LFD
Posted: Jul 13 2008, 11:38 AM
Member No.: 269
Joined: 20-November 06
Werner and Kaj moved into the camp. No natives stirred within it. Most were dead or dying. Taking care not to silhouette themselves against the fires, the two moved. A low whistle drew their attention to a position just inside the jungle. Werner gestured for Kaj to lead the way. The two arrived to find Miles crouched over Hezekiah. They could immediately see what was wrong with him. Hezekiah was smiling and seemed to be taking this spear in his leg very well, it seemed to the newcomers.
Miles whispered to the other hunters.
"He seems to have taken a relaxant."
"Feth," swore Kaj. Last thing they needed was an idiot, sprawling around, no help at all with the natives nearby. "Can you wake him up? Or do something for that spear?"
"It should stay in," Werner interjected. He drew his knife. He continued."But we should cut it off to about here," he indicated. "Hold the other side," he commanded Miles. "Kaj, turn him."
He drew back his arm and with one swift motion, cut the longer end off. There was little response from Hezekiah. Werner gestured Miles away from the other side of the leg. A grunt from Werner and the only spear visible was about 10 cm either side of the leg.
"I can find some items that can wake him up," Miles volunteered. Werner nodded at him. The hunter set off into the jungle. Kaj followed, autopistol at the ready, leaving Werner alone with Hezekiah.
Miles crouch-walked through the jungle, concentration fixed on the plants around him. The Thorton berry should do the trick here, he mused to himself. It would be hard to see, a red berry not standing that much against the darkness of the jungle. "Kaj, keep an eye out for a red berry bearing vine."
Kaj grunted. Thankfully, one of them had thought of the security round here. A noise in the canopy drew his attention upwards. A monkey glared back at his scowl. It clutched a vine in its hand. A vine bearing red berries.
"Give it here, ya little git," Kaj whispered. The monkey hooted back at him. Kaj fired. The monkey fell. It hit the ground. Miles spun round, startled by the sudden gunshot. The monkey ran between his legs as he finished turning. Kaj reached down and picked up the vine. It had been shot about halfway up.
"These are red berries, aren't they? Kaj asked gruffly.
Miles didn't even bother looking closely. "The vine I'm looking for grows only on the ground. That's the Haji vine, it'll do the opposite of what we want. We don't need him further put to sleep."
"Well, we gotta move," Kaj said. Perhaps firing the gun was not a good idea. The natives must have heard it.
Miles shrugged. The Thorton vine was pretty rare, it had been a long shot anyway. The pair walked back to Werner, their attention fully given to their surroundings. They reached without incident. Werner looked quizzically at them, his rifle ready in his hands. Kaj looked a little sheepish and Miles shook his head. They all looked around the jungle, checking that the shot had not attracted attention. That's how they noticed one of their own returning.
Silon could be seen creeping back into the native camp. Alone. Werner whistled to alert him to their location. He came to their location, seemingly relaxed.
"Where is she, Silon?" Kaj asked grimly. His pistol was not pointed at the other hunter but the menace in his voice was unmistakeable.
"She's in the jungle," he replied noncommittally. He cradled his shotgun in his hands, but some tension was evident in the way he gripped it.
"Why?" Miles questioned.
"Because she doesn't deserve death," he replied, a little emotion evident in his voice.
"Does it matter?" demanded Kaj. Silon ignored him but Kaj continued. "We'll have to make him lead us to him."
"She won't come out if you've got a gun to my head," Silon sneered at Kaj.
Werner glared at Silon. The man had compromised them. He swung his rifle to face the other hunter. Kaj did the same with his autopistol.
"You either die here, now or you bring back the mark and live," Werner offered. His eye bored into Silon.
Silon shrugged. It was pointless trying to reason now when the bounty hunters felt the money slipping away from them. He would just hope that cutting the tentacle off would be enough to give to the other hunters. It was the only option now. He had been surprised by Werner pulling his rifle on him, he had been paying too much attention to Kaj.
Silon moved through the jungle, the knowledge that Werner's rifle was aimed at the back of his head firm in his mind. Once he'd got the tentacle, he would try and reason with Werner. He seemed the most likely to agree that the tentacle was enough to claim the bounty. Then he would just have Kaj to contend with. The others It was easy to track her by scent alone. He caught a flash of bare flesh behind a tree trunk.
"Hey," Silon softly called. No response. She must be terrified, he thought. He crept over to the tree before circling it. He let out a soft moan as he saw.
She was pinned to the tree by a native spear through her chest, a blossom of red blood around the wound. Her dead, glassy eyes gazed blankly at the ground. There was a faint look of accusation on her face.
Rage built up inside of Silon. He had risked his life for her and now she was fething dead. She didn't deserve this, no one did. For a second, he believed that she had a future with him. You are just like me. Those words haunted him now, painful reminders of what could have been.
With a scream of rage, he unleashed the shotgun into her body, twice. Why did she have to get herself fething killed? He didn't even know her name. Now the sadness came. No tears, just an overwhelming crash of regret onto his mind. He walked towards her. Her body was still perfect, marred only by the tentacle and the holes of the shotgun buck. Leaning in closer, he drew in her scent one last time. Her head had only two entry holes, one on her forehead and one through her right cheek. Silon reached out with his hand and straightened her head. With sudden impulse, he lent closer still and kissed her full on those perfect red lips. A final goodbye, he thought.
Now his mind cleared a little, his emotions let out after his last action. She was dead, but he still lived. Werner could not have seen her with the spear through her. He would have only seen or heard the shotgun blasts.
He carried her. Her lightness was not unexpected and he easily hefted her towards camp. Every step took a little more out of him. Werner greeted him about halfway to the camp. He nodded to Silon, waiting for him to pass. It seemed that Werner still didn't trust him. Old habits die hard.
Kaj watched the other two returning. The mark was there, her naked body pockmarked with holes. He relaxed a little. The little beacon with which he had been toying, was now activated. Within a quarter of a day, the Arbites would be here. He knew it would be a tense 12 hours. The prize was there and now would be the perfect time for one of them to try and claim it solely for themselves...
Third and final part due sometime this week
Viva la LFD
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