Oh man! I am SO sorry I haven't updated since the ice age but I've been busy with the exams that decide my entire future and whether or not there will be toilet cleaning products in it (curls up and phoetal position)! I wish I could spell, I can't believe the cliffhanger I left you guys on! I am such an asshole!
BW: (breaking free of cobwebs) FB? Is that you? You're...updating! (clutches heart)
FB: It's okay BW, take a deep breath and how many fingers am I holding up?
BW: Um...this is a computer screen...I can't see your fingers...
FB: OH GOD SHE'S LOST IT! My late update has caused her to lose her mind! (falls into balck hole of despair)
BW: (eating popcorn) Get to the chapter already!
FB: One more thing (has nervous breakdown) apologies for spelling errors anywhere in my fic, they'r emostly typos because I've only had use of a real computer for like 5 months...anyways...
BW: (chucks popcorn and radio active soap at FB) CHAPTER! CHAPTER! CHAPTER!
Disclaimer: I do not own the Outlaw Star series or the ability to go back in time and change the answers to my exams but I am, unfortuneatly, not Dr Who and therefore cannot travel in time. Question: Why a telephone box? It's cool!
Fire at Will
The door flew open and hit the back wall with a sharp crack as the machine caught full sight of Gene and Flynn. Gene stood facing the silhouette of the machine in the doorway as it lowered it's back slightly and flexed it's long dagger-like fingers.
He could sense the machine about to make it's move.
"Try this on for size." Gene pulled the trigger and an explosion of light and sound ripped through the doorway. The machine was caught full force in the stomach and shot backwards across the room, colliding with the opposite wall and spraying the whole scene with dust, stones and sparks.
The thick smoke obscured their leader's fixated sight on the girl, he could just make her out as she ducked low to the ground and disappeared.
"Shit!" their leader snapped. There was no plausible way he was going to let that girl escape. His very existence depended on her safe return. He turned back through the smoke and was met with the dark barrel of a caster gun.
He could feel the heat coming off of it.
"The gun that utilizes mana." he whispered. He peered over the rim of the gun at the wielder. Gene stepped out through the chaos and faced his opponent.
Their leader started. The shock of violent red hair, the star tattoo on the shoulder, the infamous antique caster weapon.
"Gene Starwind so you're after the girl too."
Flynn sliced through the centre core of the machine and it slackened on the end of his blade. A light stream of blood slipped over the silver and onto the tiled floor. Flynn pushed forward and then pulled out violently so the empty machine clattered to the floor and lay motionless.
Suddenly a chilling sensation went up his left arm, the touch of cold skin as someone else brushed past him. He jerked backwards, eyes piercing the chaos just in time to see the faded outline of someone making a break for the outside.
"It's you…" he whispered.
As though hearing what he had just said above the nose level in the room, the figure reverted back to face him. Flynn was met with a stare that even he for once could not comprehend, a flash of intense recognition at the back of his mind.
He couldn't see her lips through the fog but somehow he knew she would speak when she did.
A crash resounding from the other side of the room made her break eye contact and vault for the door. Flynn didn't waste a second in vaulting after her through the thick fog now shrouding the bar.
Their leader stepped back slightly as the smoke and dust finally started to clear, recoiling from the gun. Gene's eyes widened as the faint outline of the pirate machines became more defined but the grip on his caster and his arm remained firm.
Their leader looked Gene up and down with judging eyes.
"They say you're the man that killed Hazanko. Strange, there doesn't seem to be anything special about you."
A brief grin flickered over his face.
"Hazanko was weak."
He took another step backwards, going as far as he dared and the machines closed in on the stand off.
Gene's reply was venomous.
"You son of a-"
The first machine thrust forward with immeasurable force but Gene reacted quickly and dodged, ducking low, balancing on one leg so he could bring the other leg round in a sweeping kick. The machine saw it coming and sprang upwards leaving an opening for the next machine to try and take Gene out with a stab to the back.
The scene slowed. Gene could feel the blade behind him cutting the air in two but from his position he wouldn't be able to move in time. He expected flashes of people and places that meant something to him to pass before his eyes but instead all he had was a profound sense of now; as though his future was ebbing away and somehow all he found himself thinking was:
'This is one hell of a shit light show'
The blade pricked his flesh.
The machine stopped dead. Gene heard the recognisable crack of a gun shot and snapped back to see Jim blown backwards into an upturned table. He could hear the faint whistle of the bullet and a moment later the machine behind him had collapsed, blood spurting from it's forehead.
"Cutting it a little close aren't we!" Gene snarled, scrambling up beside Jim.
"Can we talk about that later Gene?" Jim asked fearfully, not taking his eyes off of the enclosing machines.
"Where's the leader?" Gene asked quickly as they backed away. "Did you pass him on your way in?"
"Um…" Jim's attention was focused entirely on the 4 or 5 machines still closing in on them.
"Give me the gun." Gene muttered moving his hand up slowly.
"I said give me the gun!"
For a moment, the hand with the gun didn't move. Jim continued to stare at the machines and back away slowly from them as if moving at all would provoke them to attack. Then gingerly, he passed up the gun to Gene, the machines watched but didn't make a move.
Gene felt the weight of the gun pass into his hand and his eyes narrowed. He dragged the gun up into position and shot another machine in the head without even aiming. Where the machine keeled over, a surge of the remaining lot took it's place.
As he chased her through the back streets of the city Flynn's mind was riddled with images he didn't understand. A ceremony, a temple, the light of a dark star above a city and a huge blinding blue outline. What did these images mean? What did it have to do with her?
He watched her make a sharp veer into a side alley and his heart jolted. He couldn't lose her, there was too much that needed answering for him to lose her now. He doubled his pace, rounded the next corner and was engulfed in the shadow of a dead end. Skidding to a halt he stared at the huddled figure of the girl on the ground.
Her head was down, her eyes were masked and she remained unmoving. He stood above her, eyes searching her frame, he wanted answers.
"I just want to know-"
"Please don't let them get me." Her interruption took him aback but he didn't move and he didn't show it. She looked up at him then and her eyes contained worlds.
"You can't let them get me. Don't let it happen again…"
There it was, the line from his the recurring nightmare, the haunting voice that rang out over the city of death. He gasped and drew back, hands shaking.
"Who are you?"
She opened her mouth to answer him but a smooth laugh cut her off. The chill in the darkened alley intensified but somehow, Flynn was burning up. His grasped the handle of his sword but didn't draw.
"So clueless. This makes my job so much more easy."
"You tell me who she is then." Flynn snapped, the anger apparent in the tone of his voice. Their leader kept his eyes on the hand closed around the blade handle but it didn't move. He smirked.
"That little piece of information won't bother you for long boy. All you should be thinking about is how to survive the night."
Flynn tossed a sharp glance over his shoulder and in one quick movement had the small knife in his hand. Their leader was taken aback, he had expected a sword.
"What good is that going to do?"
Flynn didn't answer, his breathing slowed and the gleaming light the blade gave off illuminated the darkened alley. Their leader brought his arm over his face to safeguard his eyes so he didn't see the silver blade lengthening into a smooth point and the handle gradually expanding to fit new proportions. Flynn slowly turned and the sword fell in towards their leader.
Sensing that the light had faded, their leader lowered his arm and scowled at the blade in Flynn's hand.
"A sword…" their leader whispered.
'I've never seen a weapon like that before…no matter, it's still just a sword and that won't stand up to the enhancements of my Tao magic. The girl is mine.'
Flynn could sense the movement of the energy in the air and knew what was coming. He changed his stance accordingly and readied himself for the first blow. Their leader gave a sharp grunt as he took of from the ground, expecting to take the boy out with the first hit. He swiped the air and could almost feel the scrape of the boys flesh beneath his hands but at the last moment, Flynn leapt up.
In the air he focused his sword into a diving point and fell, their leader managed to see the manoeuvre before it hit and managed to move himself out of the way using his Tao magic to enhance his speed. The blade struck the ground and penetrated the concrete giving Flynn enough leverage to bring his boot down on their leader's face.
Their leader let out an agonised howl as the boot crushed his face against the ground. Drops of blood splattered the floor as Flynn increased the pressure, making sure there was no chance of escape. He crouched down as far as he could so their leader could see the expression on his face.
"Tell me if you want to live, who is she?"
Their leader clawed at his face and groaned as Flynn's boot pushed further into his face. After a moment, Flynn caught something he could almost recognise.
Flynn grimaced and stood upright, carefully slipping his foot off of their leader's face.
"Get the hell out of here, you're finished."
"You're…not going to kill me?" their leader stared at Flynn, face still running with blood.
"I'm not an assassin."
His eyes flicked from their leader's sprawled out form on the ground to the girl's hunched up figure in the back of the alley. They spoke without speaking and she nodded, coming out of herself and moving carefully behind Flynn.
He turned his back on their leader, pulled his sword out from the ground and started leading the girl back to the Shooting Star Inn.
Feeling the pain pulse through his head, their leader sat up, his vision blurred. He had lost, he couldn't lose, losing was not an option for him. His very existence depended on getting the girl back to his superiors and if he returned without her…
The way this had turned out couldn't happen. It was impossible. He fingered the knife handle in his pocket.
"You may not be an assassin…" he whispered, his hand closing around the handle. "…but it is my paid profession."
He launched. The scene slowed. Flynn swung his sword round in a sweeping hemisphere and caught him at a blow straight through his side. Their leader dropped out of the air mid-strike and lay quivering on the pavement, blood draining rapidly from his side. He struggled helplessly with himself for a few minutes before laying still.
"Shit." Flynn snarled. "We have to get out of here now!"
He grabbed the girl's hand and started pelting back towards the inn. A few moments later and a female figure dropped down beside the body of their leader. Her eyes were like slits in the shadows.
A blast like thunder erupted from the Shooting Star Inn encasing half of the building in a raging inferno. The flames licked at the sky and forced unbearable heat on the city below.
Inside, Gene kicked the bar door open and shot out along the corridor dragging Jim behind him.
"What the hell was that!" Gene yelled back at Jim watching the smoke stream out from behind the bar door.
"Less talking, more running!" Jim snapped back.
Gene hurtled through the corridor hoping to God none of the machines had survived that explosion. Outside he could hear the sounds of the fire brigade and probably the police.
'Great, that's all I need.'
He skidded to a halt at a fork in the pathway and frantically looked both left and right.
"It's right, go right!" Jim insisted, pointing in that direction.
Without a second thought, Gene charged down the right hand corridor, weaving round corners and down stairs to the exit. Both Gene and Jim burst out of the burning building just as a loud crash somewhere told them that something had collapsed.
Gene expected a crowd of people to be standing outside, awed expressions on their faces at the sight of the deteriorating building but there was no-one around, at least not yet.
"Quick, where did you park the car?" Gene asked, eyes darting over the street for any sign of life.
"In a back alley at the end of the street, where's Flynn Gene?"
Gene had been wondering that himself, he was pretty sure that Flynn hadn't been in the bar so he was certain Flynn hadn't been caught in the explosion. Wherever he was, that wasn't their real concern at the moment.
"Never mind, let's just go already!"
Catching the urgent tone in Gene's voice, Jim told himself to disregard the matter of where Flynn was for now and concentrate and getting out of the line of fire of the authorities.
"This way." he said gesturing to Gene for him to follow.
They crossed the empty road to the other side of the street and started running flat out towards the alleyway that Jim had parked the Efrau in.
"No will you tell me why the gun blew up?" Gene asked as they ran.
"It's your fault!" Jim retorted throwing Gene a dirty look. "You were the one that started tampering with the setting!"
"Hey, it got the job done didn't it."
"You're gonna get killed if you keep thinking like that." Jim muttered rounding the corner to the alley and opening the car doors.
"You've been saying that for years and I'm still here aren't I." Gene retaliated grinning cockily.
"Whatever." Jim said as Gene revved up the engine.
The fire at the inn continued to steadily consume the building. The girl stared transfixed at the flames, absorbed by them, following their every movement. Flynn was busy scanning the area for any sign that Gene had made it out, or in a worse case scenario, if any of the Kei Pirate machines had got out in one piece.
"It's amazing what people can survive."
Flynn didn't turn to look at her but his eyes had stopped moving over the scene in front of him. It was the first time she had spoken since he had killed their leader and her words seemed more significant to him then they were intended to be.
"Where the hell is Gene?" Flynn mumbled bitterly.
Suddenly, the girl looked away from the fire directly behind them. Flynn frowned at her and then followed her gaze to the figure now standing just behind them. Flynn recognised her instantly, a tall, pale woman with long plaited hair and a deadly smile. He had seen her before, the night the Twilight Generals had attacked the Outlaw Star crew on Sentinel 3. The only difference this time was the many scars that had savaged her face and arms, the lasting mark of the technique called Violet Hurricane.
Akira kept her eyes on Flynn's with a look of grim amusement on her face.
"I didn't think it would be you I had to steal her from."
"Did you follow us here from Sentinel?" Flynn asked stepping out in front of the girl.
Akira let out a short laugh.
"Don't flatter yourself, we came after the girl. With her, we wouldn't need you."
It took a little while for the importance of this statement to sink in. It was a wonder why the Twilight Generals were after them in the first place, what was so special about this girl that made them obsolete?
Akira arched her back and spread her feet for balance.
"Now," she said, eyes on Flynn. "Try and hit me."
Flynn made to make a strike but two things happened at once. Akira flexed backwards so the sword swept the air where her body had been only a few seconds earlier and at the other end of the street, the Efrau shot round the corner and pulled up beside the burning pub.
"Get in!" Gene yelled out the window.
Flynn made one last slash at Akira making her bend sideways in a way physically impossible for a normal human to do without cracking ribs and made a run for it. Diving into the back seat he shouted at Gene:
Gene hit the accelerator and the car jerked forward on a burst of speed round the next bend.
Akira straightened and watched them go, a cold smile breaking over her face.
"You can have her for now." she said and with those last words, she turned her back on the flaming building and disappeared into the alleyway shadows.
So Flynn managed to kill their leader and get the girl back to Gene and Jim but not before he ran into Akira on the way. So if Akira's on Heifong then are the other Twilight Generals? What's so important about this girl that it renders the Outlaw Star crew worthless? Why does she seem to know so much about Flynn? How did she know about the words in his nightmare and how did she know his name? Well I know, I'm the author MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA- (cough cough)