What a glorious day. Well, as glorious as Zepp would allow anyways.
Out of the corner of his eye, he watched through the open window the smoggy sky that poured in a faint light, hardly revealing anything in the room, other than the small table beside the window, and himself who was seated in front of the table. Not that there was anything else in the room, save a cabinet of basic supplies, the door into the bedroom, and the door into the world. In good light this would have been a sterile white room, stuffy and emotionless, hardly moved in and lacking the owner's personality. Shadows covered the upper half of the occupant's face, leaving only the slack jaw in view, the white polo shirt to reflect the light, and the popular fingerless black gloves on his hands that rested on the steel chair arms.
This was one of his less safe hideouts ever since Gabriel took over and starting making sympathetic groups to the last dictatorship "disappear".
That with the fact that this man took quite a few Black Jobs while the dictatorship was around…
But Zepp was too good to abandon, since it allowed him to hide and remain on the move at the same time, as the flying continent kept moving over the earth.
Hmm…I should lower the blind. No use having some genetically altered ape staring through my window.Hmm… Do I think I can today…
He looked back down at the objects on the table. An antiquated six-chambered Magnum and its corresponding number of bullets.
For fuck's sake, all this time and you only managed to find six shots?
Oh, shut up. Lucky enough I managed to buy that sixth one from the auction. Besides, I only need one.
"Should I… can I?" He whispered to himself. He noticed his breathing starting to labor again, his balance starting to sway, that feeling of himself about to throw up, his temples starting to drill into his head…Bah. Headaches again. He slowly rose out of his chair, his nausea slowing his steps and making his movements seem detached him his mental senses. As if the world was just a hallucination, while his head began to pound in pain more and more. Cold sweat was falling. Bad signs. He slumped against the cabinet, and pulled open a drawer full of bottles. Taking one of occupants out, he twisted the cap and swallowed most of the pills within. Quickly the headaches and pains were diminished to the mere nausea and constant sensation of wanting to throw up, as it was the normal feeling he had 24/7. He hated the feeling. As his breath settled into peace again, he turned around to lean his back against the cabinet, staring at the gun, guessing the chances of successfully shooting himself this time.
Hmmm… Nah, I'd probably just argue with myself again and waste time.
He cracked a small grin at the accurate conclusion. Freedom, once more, would only be gained the hard way.
I should be leaving Zepp today. Better pick out a small bounty on the way.
Agreeing to this, he moved about, once more cursing his pathetic balance, and his senses as the feeling of his feet hitting the ground felt far away and isolated from his mind, like he was floating above everything. Inside the bedroom was his traveling sack, "the hat", "the jacket", "the scarf", and "the belt" all lain across the bed. He fit the extra clothes on, moving one of the two belt straps through half of the loops on his jeans, leaving the heavy metal slab that was the buckle to dangle against his left leg, and the other belt strap loosely wrapped around his legs. Taking the traveling sack, he returned to the cabinet to take with him his traveling companions for next several however-longs.
Aspirin bottle. Aspirin bottle. Half empty Aspirin bottle. Medical stuff. More Aspirin…
Methodical, mindless movements in preparation of an abstract, pointless, journey to survive.
Wallet of cash (Meaning a lot of money). Aspirin… Journey to survive? Why is it I allow myself to keep going, to keep eating, to keep living? It's all pointless, there's nothing left.
It's not like your going waste away by yourself. You survive, because "Perhaps today…"
He walked over to the gun on the table. Opening its chamber, he began to slide the bullets in.
These bullets are expensive. This time, I will make sure to check what I shoot. That stupid homeless brat…now over several thousand dollars worth of collector's metal lodged in his dead heart. Bah. Have to check bounties now.
Shoving the gun into the back of his pants, he slung the fat bag over his should by the draw strings, and headed out the door leading into the world, and locked it behind him.
Somewhere, deep in dirt and rock bowels of Zepp were intricate mazes of hangers, cargo rooms, rooms, and countless other little places to forget things in. Over the years, as the island expanded outwards and birthed new chambers on its sides to hold ships, such rooms were forgotten, locked away, walled over, and generally neglected by the government. Naturally, such prospects allowed rightfully named "Underground" movements and businesses to hide in. One of such was located in an old airship hanger deep inside the continents enough to allow no light in, the only lighting coming from yellow bulbs from a building that was a shanty wood and metal structure about the size of an old English Inn. This popular location was a Bounty Office that was not sanctioned by the Zepp government, meaning its lists of bounties were not "filtered" by the Zepp government, as they were known to do. Thus, the brash, impatient, arrogant, fool-hardy, or badly paid of Zepp's finest or worst came here, hoping to find bigger bounties than ones on the surface allowed.
Though being a Bounty Office, the freedom from the government's prying eyes also turned it into a miniature club of all vices. People laughed and drank around tables under pale lights, while music played. Drugs of all kinds passed from hand to hand, and people littered the walls of the building as they were shoved aside to make room when they started to die, or merely passed out. Though right now, despite everything, the discussions throughout the building was centered on a certain topic that has grabbed the attention of all the world.
The main door opened then, and for the next few minutes the silence that slowly crept out from the entrance, leaving the music from the jukebox as the only one with an opinion of the new figure.
"Turn that off!" he shouted.
And so the music box joined the crowd of silence. A few of the new prostitutes eyed his 25-year-old body playfully, but the people who had consistently come to this establishment knew to avoid this man. He always dressed the same, the open R!OT coat that had it's sleeves down to the elbow, revealing the white shirt with the back of the clothing extending past the sides and down to the ankles. The green scarf that was always tied around his neck, that black pointed hat worn and bent backwards, and the jeans that had the lower leg section missing, a mismatched red vinyl leg stitched on instead.
Oh yes, this man could not be forgotten. He called himself only by "Colt". Interestingly enough, a fair sized sack was slung over his should casually, meaning he would be leaving soon. Many people then sighed in relief inwardly. This man was a bother to business for the past several weeks. He was like a spoiled child, always wanting what he wanted for free, and going by any means to get it. Though he often stumbled like a sick man, those who crossed him quickly found their way back home on the shoulders of their friends, beaten severely.
Then there was the talk of his belt. Carved into the steel buckle hanging from his leg was the word DreAM with the "A" standing above the rest of the perfectly lined words. Words on belts like those meant he should have been a Seikishidan Knight. Was a truly? He seemed not to recognize the major battles of the past. Did he even serve? Did he run away? Why was he here?
Colt grunted and pulled out an aspirin bottle, of which he consumed another unhealthy amount. His cold brown eyes scanned the room through his brunette bangs that poked out of his hat. Oh those hateful eyes! A calculating coldness that despised all! He feared no threat and no man, and he treated all with equal distaste, despite their standing. Oh how this establishment hated him! The only thing they could do was wait for him to leave, and keep their best bounties from him in revenge.
Stupid music making my head hurt. Colt thought to himself as walked through the throngs of people. Though business started again, the quieter tones, as to Colt's preference showed the air of cautiousness that followed the man's every step.
On the far side of where Colt entered was a wall with several tacked on sheets. These were the printed copies of the bounties that were still active. Once more Jeremy noticed that business was slow, and no expensive bounties were coming in.
Damnit! I don't want expensive bounties! I want dangerous ones! I want the most dangerous things to have ever crossed this planet! Normal people no longer cut it… Colt sighed.
"Hey, you lookin' for some big money?" A scratchy voice addressed Colt. Turning around, the club menace faced his brave fool. Behind a table across him, sat a dumpy looking imp of a man, short, bald, and ugly and in a rich suit.
Life threatening ones actually, but they're usually more expensive. "Yeah." Colt replied.
"Good, because I have the most expensive of them all." The Imp grinned
"Oh?" Colt replied amused.
"Don't believe me? I have the sheet right here!" The Imp pulled out a slip of paper from inside his suit jacket, and waved it a bit, allowing Colt only able to discern a lot of zeros worth of money for the bounty.
"A World-Wanted Suspect that Zepp itself is hunting! I bet Bounty Hunters all over are flocking to get that cash cow! You interested?" The Imp grinned.
"Good, because I'll make a deal with you. Work for me, and my bounties will make you rich in no time!"
Colt sneered. "Work for you? You think you can own me like a pet? At your heed and call a powerful man? You are stupid."
The Imp shrugged. "You not interested in half a million world dollars?"
"I am, but you're going to give the bounty information to me, free." Colt casually replied.
The Imp chuckled challengingly, while straightening out his suit, "Oh ho! You think you push me around? Do you know who I am? I am Lance! King of Dragons!"
Colt leaned over and placed his palm flat on the table, the shadows playing over his face, allowing only his sneer and a lone brown eye to stare back at the Imp known as Lance, "Do you know who I am? I am Jeremy Colt. You are going to give me my information."
"Huh, you think you're made of some tough shit, don't you?"
Lance smirked and snapped his fingers. Behind Jeremy, standing from another table were two giants of muscle that loomed down on their leaner target and their boss. All activity within the building ceased, leaving a sudden silence as they all stared at the showdown.
"Don't think I didn't do my homework. I know how strong you are, Colt. But you can't beat these two. Bart and Elmo are going to show you why I'm your boss." Lance confidently announced. The two burly troublemakers snickered and cracked their knuckles.
Jeremy stood up and shrugged sheepishly, "Well at least it isn't some mugger punks in the alleyway."
Lance snorted, "Get him."
Lance bounced through the front door of the Bounty Office and rolled along the ground outside. His face was a bleeding mess, his suit crumpled, and his left arm dangling uselessly. In his other hand was a common knife. As a curious crowd filed out of the building to watch the spectacle, true to his pathetic form, Lance whimpered at the sight of Colt striding out of the building and into the dark hanger with his hands dripping with blood that came from both of the King of Dragon's goons and from the King's face himself.
"Give me my information!" Jeremy shouted at the mobster as he approached. Lance just charged forward with his blade. Closely side stepping the attack, Colt grabbed the thrusting wrist with one hand, before twisting the knife out of his grip, grabbing the falling weapon with his free hand, Jeremy proceeded to slash vigorously wherever he could find on his victim's body, releasing cries of tortured pain, before running the weapon right through Lance's upper arm and kicking him in the stomach, causing the slab of meat in a suit to roll away, minced and ready for Colt's use. As the victor approached, the man sputtered pleas and tried to crawl away.
"Tell me." Was Colt's simple reply.
Colt rolled his eyes, "Bull shit. Gears can't fight back now."
This caught Jeremy's attention. "How?"
"Another… Another self-reliant one! It's been telling another one to protect it! It's commanding it!"
"Devil's Living Place! A Country! Here!" With his remaining strength, Lance used his slashed arm to pull out the sheet of paper, now bloody and crumpled, and threw it as best he could at Colt. Picking it up, Jeremy studied the artist's impression, drawn by eyewitness accounts.
A horrid beast, which has two wings and a large tail. "Hmmm, so powerful that it can change shape, and its wings alone can decimate armies? Interesting." Folding the document neatly and storing it safely within his own jacket, Jeremy pointed at Lance, who froze in fear. "If anything gets the bounty before me, it's all your fault, and I will come back to kill you if I don't find the Gear there. Got it?"
"Oh… Oh fuck… you must be kidding…"
Jeremy began to turn and head back into the building to collect his traveling bag, but he continued to look down at the King of Dragons out of the corner of his eye, and sneered. "Then you are stupid."
Jeremy gingerly headed back to the Bounty Office like a sick old man, as he began to swallow more aspirins to ease his fast growing headaches.
A Gear this time? What can be more powerful than a Gear? Will it be this time? Will it be this one?
Only one way to find out that it might be "Perhaps today".
Person With Many Aliases presents:
"The Oldest Child Of Sin: Fake Angels"
Guilty Gear Series property of Daisuke Ishiwatari and Sammy Corporation.
Jeremy Colt property of Author "Person With Many Aliases"