Unexpected Circumstances- An OLS fanfiction by masamune
Warnings: Yaoi, not graphic, angst, language.
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Outlaw Star, ch!
Archive: Anyone that wishes to archive any of my fics is welcome to.
Note: For anyone that is just picking up here I'd like to inform them on something. In the last part the Power Company cancelled Gene's phone lines since he had built up such huge debt. Also Jijomi is a man hired by the Kei pirates to kill Gene.
Part 4- Lack of Communication and Bar Standoffs
"You just can't get in touch with him?" Harry MacDougall shook his head, his sea green hair falling over his shoulder. Currently he was very confused, but there was one clear thing he could make out, Ron wasn't happy. "He just, like, disappeared? Fell off the planet? Gone?"
"Yeah, I don't know Harry…" Ron said, putting his head in his hands and looking over at his brother. The two notorious mercenaries sat around the luxurious marble living room table. "I checked a few of the places Starwind's known to hang around, nobody'd seen him recently…"
/Kuso! This is just great…/ Harry thought cynically to himself. /What the hell is that clown think he's up to? From the way Ron told me it sounded like the guy even cancelled his phone number. But why would he run away at a time when his friend is in danger? / Harry's thoughts were turned back to Jim, still down in the basement, and it was a minute before he realized his brother was still talking to him.
"…After all he's known around there, but they had no information on him." Ron was gazing off, concentrating on some distant point. "Maybe he changed addresses or phone lines or something like that?" The older of the two asked aloud, wondering to himself.
"Maybe he got rubbed out by someone else…" Harry said the idea as it formed in his head. "The Kei Pirates may have finally caught up to him ne?"
"Iie," Ron replied firmly, standing up and removing his rain-slicked coat and casting it aside. "Starwind isn't that careless. If the Kei Pirates had gotten him they would have had to come down real hard, and we would have heard about it. Hai, he's still alive," Ron breathed the last sentence as if trying to reassure himself.
/Oh my God! Jim!/ Harry thought quickly, his composure breaking and as he became flustered. /If we can't find Starwind then what will happen to Jim? Who knows what could have happened to the XGP? This throws all our plans out of whack…/
"What are we going to do with Jim?" Harry asked then.
"Who?" Ron raised an eyebrow. It was clear his thoughts had been fixed on problems that had nothing to do with Jim. Harry wondered if his brother gave half a damn about the frightened boy that they were holding prisoner.
"Jim," Harry said, expecting Ron to catch on. When a vacant stare answered him he continued, "Jim, the kid we're holding hostage. What are we going to do with him?"
Ron looked away for a second in thought and then spoke, "We'll just have to hold him here until the exchange can be carried out. Can't just give him up, iie, I'll find Gene Starwind. I got a feeling that he's still on this planet."
/Could this guy have abandoned Jim? / Was Harry's thought. /What if he did run away and Ron can't track him down? What happens to Jim then? /
Thoughts of dark, cold nights flooded into the young outlaw's head. Cold, alone, shivering under half torn blankets and rags, by the embers of an expired fire… Iie. Harry pushed the bad memories back into the closet of his mind and shook his head as if trying to clench a lock on the door handle. It never locked.
Ron yawned and stood up, glancing over at the ancient grandfather clock. It was almost 4 in the morning. He stretched and yawned again, appearing to start to relax. The only thing that spoke otherwise was the light in his eyes that told Harry when Ron was thinking seriously about a problem.
"We might as well get some sleep ne?" Harry suggested, beginning to feel his own weariness. "We'll figure something out in the morning."
"Hai…" Ron nodded, more to himself than to Harry. Ron walked off towards their room and stopped just in the doorway. He turned to his brother, "You coming to bed?"
"Huh? Err…iie, not yet," Came the unsure answer from Harry.
"Hey, something bothering you?" Ron asked his brother. Even in his tired state the professional mercenary knew his younger brother and partner. Something was obviously eating at him.
"I'm fine," Harry said right away, his response coming just too quickly. His mind raced for something to say. "I've got to grab my jacket from downstairs. I left it when I went to check on the kid." He motioned to his bare shoulders; he really had forgotten his vest in the basement. "I'll probably hit the sack soon though."
/As much as I don't like hiding things from Ron/ Harry was telling himself, /It would make such a mess if he knew how attached I'm getting to Jim. I don't want to disappoint him…/
He gave Ron as reassuring a smile as he could muster, but it came out as a weak, flat feint. Although he was concerned about his only brother, Ron knew he wouldn't get any answers tonight. It was impossible to help Harry when he refused to talk about his problems.
"Well goodnight then," Ron walked into the room and slowly closed the door.
"Hey! Some guy was jus' in here tonight lookin' for you pal," The bartender leaned forward and gave Gene a probing stare. "He was all serious an' business type too, ya know?"
"He wasn't an old, wrinkled ugly guy with a heavy drawl was he?" Gene asked, hoping that the answer would be a no. Running into a trained assassin would be the extra kick in the ribs.
"Yep, that's him alright!" The bartender said casually, turning to place a newly cleaned glass on the counter, missing Gene's frown as the young outlaw hung his head. "Oily lookin' bastard he was too! Just between you and me pal, I wouldn't want to run into him, he was packin' heat. At leas' a few guns and I think I caught a glimpse of a sword or somethin' like that under his coat."
/I guess that Zorlin guy wasn't bluffing on the phone a few days ago…/ Gene thought, recalling the late night phone call from the aged assassin. /The Kei pirates hired him to kill me and take the Outlaw Star… Doesn't that mean that the pirates aren't behind Jim's disappearance? Who was that then? Shit! This is all getting too complicated, what a mess…/
The smoky bar sounds surrounding him, Gene just looked vacantly ahead. The front door swung open, a few eyes wandered to the man that entered but quickly returned to their respective glasses or the TV over the bar. Gene was consumed by his own thoughts, trying to pick through all of the many problems. Owing money to Fred and the power company wasn't anything new… But he was worried about Jim, and about his own life.
/What a terrible week… I promised Jim I'd see that new movie with him…/ Gene gazed at the wooden crest of the pub's walls. /I can't believe I didn't act sooner. Sitting on my ass like a lazy good for nothing while he's out there somewhere; what kind of friend am I? What kind of shit am I pulling sitting here wallowing in my misery? /
Snapping his head up from his deep reflection, the red haired adventurer found that the bartender was looking at him strangely… or…
"I think you need somethin' to drink buddy," The man said seriously, "A good drink always helps me when I'm down ya know?"
"I can't drink tonight," Gene answered and immediately his hand pushed into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Pulling out a faded, dull picture of Jim he showed it to the bartender and asked, "You wouldn't have happened to see anyone that looked like him lately? Like just in the past few days maybe? I guess he's a little older than in this picture but…"
"Nope," The bartender shook his head. "Can't remember seein' anyone like that lately. Ya know…" He paused and Gene tracked the man's line of sight to something just behind him. "…stuff like this happens all the time, sad really."
Intensely alert, Gene tucked the picture back into its place in the wallet and sighed. Putting it into his pocket Gene grabbed a hold of his gun and swung himself around in his seat, shooting at the cloaked man a few feet behind him. The bullet smacked into the light screen, a familiar ringing sound echoed through the bar, contrasting the gunshot's crackle. Gene looked up to face Jijomi Zorlin. The young outlaw aimed directly at the short man's head.
"Don't move asshole!" Gene shouted, standing and keeping his gun trained on the cloaked figure.
"Mr. Starwind…" The assassin drawled gruffly, his tone calm amidst the chaos in the bar as people threw themselves behind tables and bumbled about in drunken stupor. "You just fired a bullet from that 9mm gun which was deflected by my light screen. Your next shot will have that same effect. You hold absolutely no advantage and therefore should not be making any demands of me" He took a confident step forward. Gene didn't fire.
Stepping closer, Jijomi's hooded face came into the light. It was still the same wretched, wrinkled atrocity, except enormous goggles covered his sunken brown eyes. Gene cursed under his breath and slowly lowered his gun. Against a light screen like that, this gun was useless.
/But I'll bet that old fart won't be very confident when I pull out my Hollinger on him/ Gene thought, referring to the larger, much more powerful gun that was still concealed under his yellow cloak.
"Your '24 Hollinger R-series won't be of much use either," Jijomi added, making Gene's face go empty of color. "My light screen is a level 6, the same level as the one you're wearing right now."
"How the hell could you possibly know what I'm carrying?" Gene said, trying to sound bold but ending up absolutely confused.
"These goggles can see through anything except certain metals," Smirking, the old man tapped the weather beaten goggle frames. "I can see every single item you're carrying."
"That's really pretty disgusting you old letch," Gene said in response, gaining a few laughs from drunken onlookers. "God knows you're sporting a huge boner under that ratty cloak of yours. Shame on you Jitototo! Looking at young men in a bar with…"
"JIJOMI Zorlin is my proper name you rude, stupid young baka!" Roared the ancient killer in anger. "be silent and listen well before I spill your blood all over this sickened disease filled dump!"
"Nani? I love this place!" A very drunk orderly yelled from somewhere, making Gene smirk a little.
/This guy said he would use similar equipment to me/ Gene recalled the old man's words. /Which means he can't use anything bigger than my Hollinger, which my own light screen is more than enough to handle… Phew, it's a lucky break I decided to bring my light screen with me today/
A strange stagnant quiet filled the entire bar, a nervous tension gripping the more sober citizens. All but the two experienced outlaws were expecting a frenzied gunfight to ensue.
"Well then!" Gene said enthusiastically, smiling wickedly at his adversary. "Looks like you can't do much to hurt me then ne? You could kill me with a gun powerful enough to break my light screen, but that wouldn't be honorable ne?" He decided to lay the sarcasm thick because he thought he was relatively safe.
"You remember my rules! I'm impressed Mr. Starwind. But you are wrong," Jijomi answered solemnly, reaching into his pocket and pulling out what looked like a remote control. He pushed a red button and a faint humming sound emanated from both he and Gene. "No neither of us has a light screen, I've disabled both of them."
/…………shit! / Gene said to himself but kept his smile. /Looks like it'll be a good-old fashioned gun fight now… I'll bet I'm ten times faster than this dried up prune/
"Iie, I won't kill you here," Sighing softly and letting his arms drop to his sides, Jijomi stared straight ahead at Gene. "It would be so…so…ugly… A shootout in a dirty bar, a place for whelps and hooligans…. Iie… Even you deserve a better death than that Mr. Starwind."
"If you're not here to kill me then what the hell do you want?" Gene shouted, his annoyance at the old man growing increasingly. "This isn't a game to me you know!"
"Of course it's not a game!" The wrinkled assassin spat. "It's a hunt! A challenge!" He stopped and removed his goggle, exposing his sunken brown eyes to the dim light. "I merely came here to finish telling you my terms and rules. Every man, no matter how ignorant and rude, deserves to know what he's up against…"
"An ugly, wrinkly old geez," Gene snickered under his breath, just loud enough so that Jijomi could hear. "Listen Jijumangi…"
The movement was fast, the wrinkled killer going for his gun with frightening speed. Gene quickly tried to react, reaching for his own gun, but he was too late. Even as his hand found the butt of his pistol he heard the cocking sound of Jijomi's own gun.
/He's got a fast draw… /
"My name," The old man said, screaming at the top of his voice, "is JIJOMI ZOR…"
The tavern door was kicked down and two police officers came running in hurriedly, their guns already drawn. The sound of sirens screaming came from the streets outside. Jijomi shot one last, dark glance at Gene, still with his hand on the grip of his gun, and then whirled around.
Bullets flew, sirens wailed, people screamed, furniture snapped under stampeding drunks and hell broke loose in the small space of about four seconds. The interrupted killer fired only two shots, the bark of his gun sounding instant death as the two men crumpled to the floor. Another police officer appeared in the doorway and was immediately dropped to the wooden floor by a precise bullet. The bar patrons began running about, knocking over anyone and anything in their paths.
Turning and making a fast break for the back exit, Jijomi Zorlin glanced back at the bar. Gene was nowhere to be seen.
-end part 4
Note: I could not for the lift of me think of a way to end the standoff between Gene and Jijomi! I was going to add another scene with Jim and Harry to this part but I figured if I didn't get this thing out I'd be eaten alive. I have to thank everyone that's sent feedback to me. You guys, the readers and especially the people that write back to me are what keep me going. Don't worry, the next part will have much, much more of Harry and Jim.
Send feedback to MasamuneEHS@hotmail.com