On the outside, one could never tell that the young man's heart was broken. His life was crashing down around him and now one of the few people he truly cared about was taken from him. Murdered right in front of him. Before him, they stood ready to take his life too; and he was more than willing to put the barrel to his head himself just so this pain would go away.
"End of the line, human," the triggerman behind his father's death sneered while one of his men took aim.
"Stay still unless you want this to hurt."
Relics found himself staring down a large man with a Cornerian shotgun. With just a pull of the trigger, several blasts of laser fire would erupt from the barrel and spray him with death. As much as he wanted for it all to end, he couldn't let that happen, not until he had made these men and women pay for what they had done. They had robbed him of a man good enough to take him into his home, treat him like a son, and protect him with his life. Now Relics' new brother or sister would grow up without him—a horrible hole in his life that Relics had been forced to experience twice now.
The shotgun fired, shooting a dozen strands of powerful yellow lasers at where he stood. Nearly every one of those lasers would have hit him had he remained standing where he was. Just as the open barrel of the gun erupted, Relics stepped out of the way, the wind of the shot ruffling his clothes and hair. He could see the lasers fly over his shoulder so slowly that even he was surprised by how effective his enhancements had become whilst in dormancy.
Everything next happened like it would in a surreal dream. His body, which had been forced to remain suppressed for several long months, had finally been released, causing him to forget past limits and faults in his genetic enhancements. His body moved faster, felt even stronger, and became more deadly than ever before.
The man with a shotgun wore a six inch serrated edged knife at his side that Relics quickly relieved him of. It fit well into his hand but it fit better into the throat of the wolf that just tried to pepper him with his shotgun. The ruby liquid seeped out, spilling onto his hands and blade. The man was dead but he didn't even know it yet. Relics stabbed dead center of his right jugular without any hint of hesitation, which surprised even him. He wanted this though; he wanted them all to die and pay for taking his father's life.
Relics dragged the knife out, slicing open his enemy's neck and moving to the next target before they had any idea what was going on yet. They were all just as much in shock as the human was, only Relics was viciously cutting them all down.
His next target stood just to the left of the wolf, and Relics cut his throat out just as ferociously as his compatriot. With two of their comrades falling to the floor, bleeding, and dying, the brigands realized just how grim their own chances were becoming.
"KILL THE HUMAN!" A rather vocal mercenary managed to shout before Relics silenced him by slinging his knife into his esophagus.
'Only three left…' Relics thought to himself, his rage nowhere close to sedated.
From his right and left his enemies attacked him simultaneously. Relics chose to counteract the right as there was only one of them on his right. The human stepped into his opponent, grabbing his outstretched hand. Using his momentum, Relics shouldered the arm and tossed the masked canine over his shoulder. Once he landed on the ground, Relics pried the small gun from his hands and flung it at the attacker behind him, hitting him square in the snout.
With one of his enemies on the ground and the other recoiling in pain, that left the only other murderer who seemed very hesitant in taking his life. When the human's glazed over eyes turned to him however, the empty voids his eyes had become sent shrills of cold terror down his spine. The trembling was so bad that it effected his aim; and what should have been a clear open shot became a wild and wide open miss. One shot came very close to the human's cheek, but a casual tilt of his head and it missed.
Relics raced towards him, making the masked man shriek in terror. He let two more fly but the human was too fast. When in range, Relics shoved his fingers into the man's throat, digging in a little past the fur and skin, but not enough to puncture the cartilage. Now gagging and spluttering, Relics' foe became open and vulnerable. A jab so fast it broke his nose, a kick so strong it broke ribs, an elbow so hard it shattered cheekbone, and a stomp so precise that it caved in his throat against the ground.
In the sparse time it took to fall his last victim, his two remaining enemies had once again risen to their feet. Their weapons lay helplessly on the floor several feet away from them all. Eyes flashing back and forth between the guns and the human, they mentally determined whether or not to risk running for them. Realizing it would be more dangerous to run for their fallen weapons, they instead reached for their own knives.
"Don't come a step closer!" One of them barked at him, desperately trying to stare down the monster in front of them.
"Just come with us, human, and we won't hurt you," the other insisted, her voice obviously female but strangely distorted.
Relics looked her dead in the face, making her flinch.
"You already have. Now I will hurt you," he told her with a voice so hollow it sounded almost inhuman, "And then you will die. All of you will die."
Before he could make good on his threat, another shot echoed through the bank. Moving out of pure instinctive reaction, Relics leapt out of the way, but his attackers finally got the best of him. The sniper on the balcony would have struck a laser straight through his head, but thanks to his leap, it only managed to graze his shoulder and give it a nice chip. The human let out a scream but refused to surrender.
Thinking he was beaten, the other two sprung an attack, attempting to subdue the human. One got to him first and he tried to tackle him, but Relics ducked under the large body. His next adversary wasn't taking any chances and pulled his knife back and stabbed down at the human. Knowing the man was stronger than him, Relics decided in a split second to grab the man's arm and pulled it down, then pushed the knife down into the man's gut.
The masked man let out a wet, gurgled grunt before letting go of his knife. Relics felt a small pang of pity in his heart before he pulled out the knife and plunged it into the man's neck. The human twisted his wrist and carved out a good slice of meat. Not wasting any time, Relics flung the knife at the woman scrambling to get up, hitting her right in the temple.
By the end of it all, seven men and women lay dead by his numb hands. Nothing made sense anymore. For reasons unknown, he could not fathom why this was so easy to do. Yes, they killed his father, Jason, but not many people have the stomach to kill somebody, let alone seven. This wasn't even the first time either. Not but a few months ago he pulled the trigger to kill several others, each one without as much as a second's hesitation.
Relics was panting heavily, and sweat dripped down his beet red face unhindered. The human turned around and stared up at the sniper on the balcony. The Rottweiler was in absolute shock, unable to fathom what he just saw.
"They died quickly," Relics grunted through labored breathing, "If only you'd get to be so lucky."
"Fuck you, freak!" The canine shouted and took aim.
"What happened to not hurting me?" Relics asked, a shot whizzing past his cheek, scorching his skin a little.
"Orders are to take you dead or alive, it doesn't matter either way," the dog growled, letting loose several more shots that whipped past the human. He was attempting to wound the human rather than kill him by shooting at his legs and arms, but because the shots were so off-center, they were easier to dodge since his whole body didn't have to move.
"Oh, you better pray I don't get my hands on you," Relics cackled, a dark look on his face casting shadows on the canine.
"You'll have to catch me first, skinner!" The dog barked and ran for the door behind him.
'Those stairs lead to the roof! After him!' Relics told himself, the gut wrenching thought of his father's killer escaping fed his tired body a new burst of energy.
Tearing after his target, Relics ran to the winding staircase, running up two or even three steps at a time. He reached the door the dog ran down and burst in, disregarding caution in lull of a frenzied bloodlust that had to be sated. Fortunately for him, his enemy seemed determined to put as much distance between each other rather than set up an ambush. His chase soon led him to the staircase that led up to the roof. Relics had long since stopped caring about himself, and rushed up each stair until he barged out onto the roof.
Were it not for his momentum being too much for him, causing him to trip, a red bolt would have pierced him right in the left eye. The human cared not that he almost died, and instead rushed ever forward. Another blast sounded and Relics dipped to his right to avoid it. Relics' body began to slow and falter and each shot he dodged began to get closer and closer. Before Relics even made it halfway to his target, he was almost out of breath.
"Goddamn freak! Just stay still!" The canine shouted and lined up another shot, this one sure to hit the exhausted human.
'No! I have to… I have to move! If I stay here I'll die. I must move, I can't let myself get tired,' Relics told himself, but it was easier said than done. His whole being was ready to collapse, yet he was so close to his target. If he could only get within striking distance, it would all be over.
Relics grimaced as he forced his body to perform one last dodge. As his body darted through the air, it suddenly dawned on him the canine had faked him out. Rather than shoot again, he waited until Relics had already made the first move, and then fired.
The loud bang of the report was only beaten out by the scream of the human as the red bolt penetrated his body. The final shot was rather inaccurate, but was more than enough to send the young man careening to the floor, clutching his left arm as blood seeped through his fingers. Swearing and cursing up a storm, Relics ripped the jagged, metal, electricity carrying projectile from his arm.
"Hurts, doesn't it?" The canine sneered. "Right about now, your body is recouping after getting hit with enough electricity to stop and start your heart twelve times. Odds are by now, your heart is beating erratically and on the verge of cardiac arrest."
"F… Fuck you!" Relics panted, his arm no longer on his injured arm, but his heart that felt like it was collapsing into itself.
"Now, now. You killed my men, I didn't like half of them, but most of their lives were ended by your hand. Am I mad? I'm livid," he scowled and kicked the human in the arm Relics was shot in. The Rottweiler started talking again, this time loud enough so that the now shrieking human could still hear. "Only thing is, you're worth slightly more alive, and that is why I'm giving you another one in the other arm."
Relics' eyes popped open just in time to see the flash from the rifle's muzzle. He screamed at the top of his lungs in pain, a second shard of metal lodged into his right arm. Though his heart felt better and was pacing itself well, both of his arms felt unresponsive and aching. Most of the fight had been ripped out of him, and despite the unquenchable impulse to avenge his father, beating the armed canine was all but impossible now.
"Hold still now," the mercenary grunted as it expelled the chambered round from his rifle as well as the magazine, "the next time I have to shoot you will be with the same type of rounds I killed that Shepard with."
"Jason!" Relics yelled, his eyes still blazing with the hatred and venom he harbored for his father's killer. "His name was Jason, you sick fuck!"
"That's nice," the canine grunted as he pulled out a pair of cuffs. "I'll be sure to tell his wife."
All at once the human's hatred doubled. Despite his arms openly bleeding, Relics forced his body up in another blind rush at the canine. It completely caught the canine off guard and was brought down because of it. Relics wrapped his weakened arms around the canine and did everything he could to inflict the man pain. The young man scratched, hit, kicked, and bit as hard as he could.
"Don't you ever even come near my mother!" Relics shrieked and bit down into the canine's vulnerable shoulder as hard as possible. Even with the dog stringing every curse and insult at him while hitting him as hard as he could, Relics kept digging his teeth into fur and flesh until he tasted blood.
"GET OFF ME!" The Rottweiler yelled and drew his knife.
The human's vision flashed white and his jaw became slack. He next felt himself being shoved off of the dog, fur and blood dripping from his mouth. The back of his head felt like it was cracked open and he fell limply to the floor.
"You little fucker!" The man growled over the sound of engines roaring overhead. "Just for that, I'm going to find your bitch of a mother after this, and when I do, I'm going to-"
A loud chirp and a high pitched whizzing sound cut the canine off. At first, Relics didn't believe, could not believe what he had just heard. He was all too willing to at the moment roll over and play dead, until the jagged cylindrical piece of metal was ripped out of his arm that is. Relics had to blink multiple times before his sight was cleared, and when it was, he didn't know if he was relieved or more alarmed.
"Ready to go, cutie?"
"You can move, right?" The woman asked, a nod given for her answer. The woman gave him a sly smile before hoisting him up off the ground. "Let's get you out of here then. We have a lot of work to do."
'Am I dreaming? Could this possibly all just be a nightmare? Please let me wake up.'
Relics walked as best as he could with Miranda's help. The sound of engines he had heard belonged to the black ship hovering just a foot off the ground. The ship was shaped like a common Cornerian shuttle, very boxy but smoothed for enhanced aerodynamic capabilities. It was propelled with twin engines that whined like a vacuum and could push the craft past Mach 2.
"No. No wait!" Relics moaned as they neared the shuttle. "What about-"
"What about the mutt who was giving you a hard time?" Miranda asked as she turned Relics around. "Slowly bleeding out from a shot to his stomach. My aim's been a little off, I meant to shoot his di-"
"I want to kill him."
Miranda's blinked once before her lips curled in a devious smile. "Easy there, tiger," she purred and sat him down in the shuttle. "We're behind schedule as is. He'll die any minute now anyways. We have to leave before the local authorities-"
"Miranda, please. If you do this for me, I'll be your personal slave for the whole trip back to Earth," Relics promised her eye-to-eye.
To say the woman was excited by this was an understatement. All at once her heart began beating faster, the hair on the back of her neck stood up, and lewd ideas of her and her new pet coursed through her mind. She lifted the young man back up to his feet and handed him her sidearm.
"You really know how to thrill a girl. Make it quick," she said with a wink.
Relics thanked her under his breath before limping over to the wounded canine. Thick red blood was pooling around the dog as it clutched its gut. He was resting against the waist high balcony, his weapon just out of arm's reach. Standing over him, his shadow casting upon the dying canine, Relics held the gun and another life in his hand. He would never get a better chance than this to enact justice; enact revenge.
The dog looked up at Relics and sneered, "Go ahead and do it, freak. Just know, I'd have given you a quick death."
"You don't deserve a quick death!" Relics spat but pointed the iron sights directly at the man's head, his arm shaking because of his wound. "You deserve to die slow, alone, and in as much pain as possible."
"Why? Because I killed your little friend and threatened your "mommy?" The dog chuckled but entered a coughing spasm because of it. "People kill people all the time! What makes him or me so special? You've done your fair share of killing, freak! How much blood will be on your hands when your kind goes to war with us?"
The dog leaned over towards his gun and grabbed it. Relics tensed for a moment but the canine made no movements to take aim and shoot him, something Relics missed entirely because of the boiling rage inside making his vision as blurred as his mind. Next, the mercenary rose to his feet, gun pointed at the floor and away from Relics or Miranda.
"It will be your fault. For every planet that burns and every life lost will all trickle down to you. My crew and I were sent to stop that from happening… I hope your revenge is worth it, freak."
For a moment, the man's words seemed to have reached the human. He lowered the gun and stepped back, his eyes locked to the cold ground.
"It won't be revenge," Relics whispered just loud enough that the dog could hear. "It will be justice!"
Relics lifted his leg and with one swift action, the canine fell backwards over the railing. A single shot of surprise escaped his weapon before it dropped out of his hands. As he fell, the man screamed until his body hit the earth in a red, splattered mess.
'It's done. The bastard's dead!' Relics thought as he gazed down at the body. Grabbing the gun that killed his father, Relics tossed it down with a wad of spit to its now deceased owner. 'But why then, why do I still feel so…empty?'
"Great job, boo-bear! That was so fucking hot!" Miranda cheered, her body quaking with delight, having watched Relics send another man plummeting to his death. "Now come on, we have to leave now while we still can."
"Okay, I'm coming," Relics sighed. He tore his eyes from the mangled mess below and out of the corner of his eye, he could have sworn he saw Fox, Lana, and his mother down in the streets. Shaking that off as paranoid delusional thinking, Relics walked back towards the shuttle and stepped aboard.
The moment he stepped aboard, the door behind him sealed shut. Relics sat beside Miranda in the passenger seats but didn't even flinch when she stuck him with two shots. The flesh and skin of his arms began mending at inhuman speed. His mind set to autopilot, nodding and pretending to acknowledge every perverted detail she told him about what she planned on doing once the mission was done.
'I don't care anymore… I just want to go home.'
"Was… was that Reli-"
"Lana!" Chloe hissed and grabbed both Fox and Lana by the arm. The woman tossed them both back in the car, apologizing to the law officer and told him they were moving on. Once inside the car and the doors closed, Chloe hissed into Fox's ear. "Follow that shuttle no matter what!"
"Got it. Hold on," Fox told the two women in his car and sped off after the shuttle heading south. Once they reached the road, Fox popped the clutch and pulled a lever on the dash. "Priming propulsion systems!"
"Chloe, what's going on? Was that Relics?" Lana asked sounding more and more hysterical by the syllable.
"Lana, get a hold of yourself!" Chloe hissed. "Yes, that was Relics and he's in danger right now. What we need to do is follow that shuttle and-" Chloe tried to explain but the now flying car suddenly launched forward, subjecting everyone in the car to the immense pressure of g-forces.
The now flying car moved quickly to tail the shuttle, but every time they seemed to close the gap a little, the shuttle boosted off down a completely different road. Fox nearly got them in a wreck every time this happened, but somehow, he managed to keep from ramming into anyone or anything else.
"Goddamn, that shuttle's fast," Fox growled as he cursed under his breath. Despite Fox's reckless yet masterful flying, the shuttle was getting further and further away.
"Can't you go any faster!?" Chloe asked, her claws digging into the leather seat.
"This old thing can barely top a hundred and forty miles an hour in the air! Judging by those engines, that shuttle could breeze past the sound barrier," Fox growled as he rolled the car and pulled up on the pitch to avoid colliding with a flying minivan.
"We have to do something! Shouldn't we call the cops?!" Lana exclaimed.
Chloe rolled her eyes, "We can't risk that. I'll have to call Jason, he'll know what to do." The feline reached into her pocket and pulled out her flip phone and dialed her husband's number. She waited and waited, nearly having a heart attack thanks to Fox's controlled chaotic driving. "Damn! It went to voicemail. I'm going to kill that man when I see him."
Miraculously, the speeding, crazed driving of the vulpine did not attract the attention of any law officials. Normally, anyone who had the guts to run a red light would make it about a block and a half before being pulled over, but thanks to the chaos at the bank, most of the police force had been directed there. Once they were several dozen blocks away from the massacre, the shuttle had slowed down to a more casual speed, allowing for the trio to stop risking their lives to follow it.
"I've never been in this part of town," Lana mewed, locking the car door.
Outside was a veritable ghetto; a place only the truly desperate subjugated themselves to live in. The scarce people still on the streets all shared the same look, like they were sucked up by the worst cruelties of life and then spat back out, chewed and used. The buildings seemed to reflect the lost souls on the streets; not one building wasn't at some point condemned.
Fox slowed to keep a distant but still well attached tail to the shuttle. It seemed that luck was on their side, and the driver of the shuttle believed they had thrown any followers off the scent. They would have too, had it not been for the brilliant piloting of the vulpine behind the wheel. Another five minutes and the shuttle began to veer off deeper into the abandoned district of Corneria's capital city. Finally, the shuttle flew into an abandoned factory that seemed to be still structurally sound yet very worn.
"Look at that," Fox said with a dark chuckle, "Your parents used to own this factory, Lana. Probably owned if for a day, sold all the assets, and let the hundreds of people who worked here go."
Lana shifted uncomfortably in the backseat, wanting to slap the vulpine for bad mouthing her parents. Even though she wasn't on the best of terms with her parents at the moment, she still loved them very much.
"Fox, we need to focus on Relics here-" she began to say but Fox interrupted her.
"We!? There is no we, Lana," Fox barked as he turned around to glare at the red eyed minx. "You and Chloe are going back after calling the cops. I am going in there to see if I can't find out what's going on."
Lana's ears flared and she glared right back into Fox's green eyes, "I'm not going to run away and sit at home, hoping that everything will be okay!"
"Haven't you already done enough!? It's because of you that he-"
"Fox, Lana, enough!" Chloe hissed loud enough to stop the two teens bickering. "Fox, I can't say I approve of you running in their alone or even at all for that matter! We don't know what's going on, there could be vicious mercenaries in there with a trigger trained on Relics' head!"
"Only one way to find out, isn't there?" Fox grunted. "If the cops show up without all the details, they'll spook the mercs and then all hell will break loose. If I go in there alone, I have a chance of finding out what's going on, improving Relics' chance of survival."
Chloe opened her mouth to argue, but she could find nothing to say to that. What Fox said made some sense, only she didn't want to risk his life for this. He was just a becoming a fully-fledged man, and with his father recently passed, there was no telling how stable he was at the moment.
"Then let's stop sitting here talking and get moving!" Lana snapped and jumped out the backseat door to a seven foot drop. The hybrid landed with ease and instantly started running towards the abandoned factory.
"Damn her!" Fox snarled and hopped out of the car as well. "Chloe! Take the car and get out of here, I'll keep in contact with you."
"Come back safe, Fox, and please find my son!" Chloe begged, her eyes teaming with worry and fear.
"I will," he promised and slammed the car door shut.
Fox turned to the run down building and reached behind his back, drawing a holdout blaster. As he walked up to the building, Chloe revved the car's engine and flew off for help. The tod reached the door unscathed, daring to think for a moment that this might be a lot simpler than he first thought.
'This is Relics we're talking about, nothing is ever simple when it comes to him,' Fox had to tell himself before he relaxed too much. 'Last time something like this happened, Wolf was involved, but that was easy. Judging by that shuttle, these people are well equipped. Who knows what's going on in there or what's in store for us?'
"Bout time. I looked inside, the coast is clear and- where'd you get that gun?" Lana scowled suspiciously, eyeing the small handgun.
"The glove compartment. My…my dad insisted," Fox growled, his voice slightly cracking. "Now shut up and pry some of these boards off."
Lana wanted to question the vulpine more, but every second she wasted harassing him was another second Relics could be hurt. In mere seconds, the fox and the minx had ripped enough boards off to open the right side door. Fox stepped in first, his gun out in front, ready to blast anything that moved and wasn't human. Lana was close behind him, her ears twirling about for the faintest of sounds.
The main factory floor so dirty and eerie that it could have been inspiration for a slasher movie. The old and rusted machinery rose out of the floor and looked as unnatural as it was foreboding. It felt like at any minute the machinery would come to life and grind their bodies in its metal jaws.
"It's quiet," Fox whispered, a small bead of sweat creeping down his brow.
Fox took one step forward just as an ear piercing scream rang through the factory. Every strand of fur on the minx's body rose, and she had to cup her mouth to keep from screaming back. Fox pointed his gun towards where he guessed the scream came from—the elevated supervisor's office at the back corner of the ground floor.
"What was that?" Lana whispered, barely keeping herself from screaming.
"I don't know," Fox grunted, "but we're going to find out."
Relics panted heavily as blood and sweat mingled on his forehead and dripped to the dusty floor. He was sitting on his legs, his right arm keeping him from falling over. Every time he blinked, it took a few seconds for his vision to come to, but when it did, he saw the enraged face of his worst nightmare.
"Sharp, you're hitting him a little hard, don't you think?" Miranda asked but did nothing to come to the young man's aid.
Sharp turned his grey eyes to the woman. "This little shit almost compromised the mission, again! Give me one good reason why I shouldn't slit his throat right now!"
No one answered his question, the only sound that was made was Relics' labored breathing. Instead of ending the young man's life, Sharp instead used the back of his hand to strike Relics across the face, sending him to the floor.
"I… I didn't-" Relics tried to defend himself rather pitifully, before the shouting resumed.
"Just what were you thinking!?" Sharp shouted as he paced around the room. "When that dog got you to the exit and removed your suppressor, you should have ran! Yet you stayed to kill those insignificant mercenaries when you had a clear chance to get away! If you were killed, the whole mission would have been ruined!"
Relics spat on the floor, his spit diluted with a light red color. He let out a little groan when he saw a bit of tooth in the bubbled saliva. A quick run of his tongue across his teeth later, he found that it was one of his molars that chipped from the backhand.
"I had a sniper trained on me! If I had run, he'd have-" Relics once again tried to defend himself but was interrupted by a roar loud enough to make his ears ring.
"SHUT UP! Just shut your damn mouth!" Sharp shrieked. "You've been trained to be better than this! The way you've been acting, I wouldn't be surprised if you've been compromised!"
"I haven't been compromised," Relics moaned as he lifted himself off the ground. He wasn't strong enough to rise to his feet so he sat on his legs once again.
"Really?" Sharp asked, his voice not nearly rupturing his eardrums for the first time since he'd first showed up. "Miranda," he said looking over at the woman standing off to the side, "Grab the truth serum."
Relics' eyes popped open wide. In the early twenty-third century, the human brain had finally relinquished its final well-guarded secrets. Exploiting a person's mind became as easy as inputting commands into a computer. The truth serum, as it was justly named, denied a person from lying and made the person feel a second need apart from his own to tell the truth. Even one's darkest secrets would be spilled for the asking, and Relics had accumulated a lot of dark secrets he didn't want any other human to know about.
"No! N-No, please! Sharp, I haven't been compromised! You have to believe me! Just don't need to use that! Anything but that!"
Sharp cocked an eyebrow and gave Relics a little smirk. Before Relics could plead anymore, Miranda showed up at his side with a pitying look on her face.
"Sorry, hon. We have to be sure," Miranda sighed.
"NO!" Relics screamed at the top of his lungs.
Relics panicked and tried to push Miranda and Sharp away, but before his hand even touched Sharp's body, a hand was around his neck. Choking and now pinned on the ground, Relics still fought to keep the needle from puncturing his skin.
"Give it to him!" Sharp snarled.
Miranda plunged the needle full of a yellow-neon colored fluid into Relics' neck. A small, guttural squeak came from Relics' gapping mouth. His eyes glazed over, giving them a dead look in the silver and black orbs. In an instant his body began convulsing in erratic seizures and foam formed in his mouth. Just as suddenly as the seizures began however, they stopped. Relics' whole body went limp, allowing Miranda and Sharp to take a step back.
Everything seemed to slow down but then speed up at random for the young man. He blinked and everything turned that same gross yellow color. In his head, he felt a strange feeling, like a balloon had been inflated inside of it and was pushing his brain against his skull.
"Alright then," Sharp mumbled. "Agent Six Four, are you or have you been mentally compromised?"
Relics' mouth began to work on its own. "No. I have not been compromised."
"And what are you loyal to?" Sharp asked, his hand reaching for his sidearm at his hip.
"I am loyal to humanity."
"And what is your purpose?"
"To be the catalyst of justice."
Both Miranda and Sharp were visibly satisfied with the answers he gave. Miranda helped him up to his feet. Relics' head was swimming around, every movement made him feel like he was about to lose his balance and fall over again.
"Good to know you're still on our side, cutie," Miranda said and kissed his cheek making Sharp roll his eyes. "I didn't doubt you for a second."
"Yeah, yeah," Sharp scowled. "We've got another seven minutes of this. Got anything you want to ask him while you can?"
Miranda's lips curled back to show her shiny white teeth. In truth, she had hundreds of questions she wanted to ask him, each one more perverted than the last. Sharp saw that look on her face and retracted his offer.
"Never mind! Knowing you, you'd ask him how big his dick is, or something," he scowled yet that brought an idea to his head. "You've been here a few months now," Sharp grunted with a sly smirk. "All this time all alone, nothing but the palm of your hand to keep you company. Tell me, did you break yourself off a piece of the local tail?"
"I didn't break anyone's tail," Relics replied honestly to the phrasing of the words.
"No, I didn't mean literally," Sharp scowled. "Did you fuck one of these filthy animals or-"
Miranda's hand shot up to her ear, pushing in a small radio speaker further into her ear. Sharp stopped speaking immediately and looked at her with wide eyes. In a flash of movement, Miranda's hand shot down from her ear to her sidearm.
"Someone's breached our perimeter," she whispered. "There's only two of them, it might just be homeless rats looking for shelter from the storm."
"Or it could be special operatives that followed you back here! Either way, they have to die," said Sharp as he picked up his FAMAS from the counter. "Where are they right now?"
A holographic projection appeared in front of Miranda's left eye. Her freehand began waving about in the air like she was directing an invisible symphony.
"Two Cornerians, one a fox, the other… a cat… thing…. They don't look like spec ops, more like some average teenagers looking for a place to fuck. Though the fox, male, is holding a gun," Miranda reported.
Relics' heart began to beat faster and faster, the feeling of death worming its way through his guts like violating tentacles.
'No. It can't be Fox and Lana! It can't be!' Relics thought to himself as he started to throw up.
"Good god, Relics! Try to keep it in, the floor is dirty enough," said Sharp, slightly amused that Relics was puking his guts despite his chastising. "Now stay there. Miranda and I are going to take care of these two little lovebirds."
"N-No, don't!" Relics mumbled before what was left of the contents of his stomach emptied out onto his shoes. "They don't have to die."
"If they don't die, they'll go blabbing and bring down every cop, mercenary, soldier, and special operative on this side of the planet down on us! If it makes you feel any better, they won't feel a thing," Sharp assured him.
'No, no, no, no! You can't let Sharp kill them until we know it's not Fox and Lana! Stop them, before it's too late!'
"Wait!" Relics shouted, stopping the two other humans in their tracks. "I may know those two, one of them is extremely rich and they're both heavily connected in the Cornerian government! If something wrong were to happen, we could use them as leverage to secure our escape."
For a moment, Miranda and Sharp hesitated. They both bore their grey eyes into Relics, attempting to pierce into the potential lie.
"What do you think, Miranda?" Sharp asked, adjusting the FAMAS in his hands. "Should we give our little celebrity a chance to save his friends?"
Relics' eyes flashed to Miranda and he gave her the saddest, most pathetic look he could muster. The woman licked her lips, the sight of Relics so desperate and pleading enticed her to no end.
"What could it hurt? He's telling the truth after all, he can't lie for another six minutes," Miranda said with a shrug and threw a wink at the incredibly relieved man.
'Please don't let it be them. Please don't let it be them.'
Sharp and Miranda's bodies began to take on an outward appearance of a mirror, and for a split second, pure darkness before finally dematerializing. They became invisible, and though Relics' acute ears could hear their footsteps, he could not see even the faintest trace of them. Instead, Relics turned to stare at the closed door, the window so tinted that it was impossible to see out of. Outside he could hear duo's footsteps getting closer and closer.
"Fox… Lana," said Relics, his voice cracking slightly.
The footsteps outside stopped abruptly. Relics strained his hearing and could make out the faintest sounds of whispers. Once more, Relics called out to his friends, this time calling out for their help.
"He's in here. Stay back until I say it's safe," Relics heard the hushed voice whisper.
In the span of the next ten seconds, Relics was sure his heart stopped. He waited with bated breath, terrified for not his life, but his friend and the woman he loved. Despite their falling out, Relics still put Lana's importance above his own. The last thing he wanted today was to see any more of his friends get hurt.
The door suddenly burst open wide, nearly flinging off its hinges. Fox stormed inside, his blaster out in front of him as he swept the large office. All he found inside was an old, dusty desk, some rusted cabinets, and the badly beaten human sitting in the middle of the floor. Before he could tell Lana it was safe, a brown blur rushed into the room, darting straight for the human.
"La-" was all the young human could say before being wrapped in one of the fiercest hugs of his life.
In an instant, his body and mind were sent to the pinnacle of euphoria. The way she smelt, the softness of her fur, the feel of her body against his brought him all the way back to those precious moments they shared. Relics couldn't even hear her frantic apologetic babbling. All that mattered at that single moment, was holding her tight. Yet as wonderful as he felt in those sparse few seconds, he felt the exact opposite when his mind finally comprehended that he had just put his friends in mortal danger
"Lana… Fox… what are you doing here?" Relics asked when Lana pulled away, allowing him to see both of their faces.
"W-We followed you here," Lana told him while wiping a tear from her eye. "Oh thank god, you're safe!"
"We were at the bank and saw you get in the shuttle. Just what exactly happened, Relics?" Fox asked, his tone rather cold and his gun at the ready for a target to show itself.
"That doesn't matter right now!" Lana snapped as she ripped off the shoulder of her T-shirt and used it to wipe away some of the blood from Relics' forehead. "We need to get out of here!"
A small click of the safety of a gun being disarmed from behind them was only heard by the human, reminding him of the time restraint.
"Fox, you should put that gun away. I managed to…to placate my kidnappers, they won't be coming back to hurt me any time soon," Relics half lied to Fox's face, making the misery black hole that had formed in Relics' stomach grow even larger.
It was hard to lie to him, not just because Fox was his friend, but also because of the specific wording he had to use in his words so he could lie truthfully. It must have been easy to see through him as Fox gave Relics a very skeptical look. He opened his muzzle to grill him with more questions, but Lana beat him to it.
"Are you okay, Relics?"
"I'm much better now that you're here," Relics replied with a warm smile which brought a bit of color to both of their faces. "But you really shouldn't have come after me."
"We couldn't just leave you. You're our… our friend," Lana mumbled feeling a little awkward using that word considering how rocky their "relationship" was at the moment. "Let's get you out of here."
"Not yet," Fox growled. "Relics, who kidnapped you?"
"No one kidnapped me," Relics blurted out against his own will.
Both Lana and Fox did a double take and Relics' stomach further cringed to near painful levels.
"What are you talking about? What do you mean no one kidnapped you?" Fox barked.
"I came willingly."
"Then what happened-" Fox began to shout but Relics seized the moment to strike.
Relics darted for the fox's weapon but he tripped when he pulled away from Lana. Fox was surprised, but not caught off guard. His grip on the weapon tightened and he threw Relics aside. Relics rose to his feet, his eyes locking into Fox's burning green eyes.
"Give me the gun, Fox!" Relics demanded.
"Like hell I will," Fox growled, the barrel pointing right at the human's head.
Lana's heart skipped a beat and a cold chill ran down her body. "Fox! What are you doing!? He's our friend!"
"Shut the hell up, Lana!" Fox snarled.
"Fox, please. Give me the gun, it's for your own good."
"Go fuck yourself, Relics!" Fox barked. "Just what the hell kind of game are you playing!? My father warned me about you. He told me that if your kind were to do something, their first strike would be through you. You're going to start a war, aren't you!?"
Relics clenched his jaw as hard as he could and used every ounce of his willpower to acquit himself of answering Fox's question. Yet despite his overwhelming desire to remain silent, his mind was still clouded by the need to be honest and truthful.
Relics opened his mouth and he whispered. "Yes."
A wave of horror swept through the room, both Lana and Fox's jaws nearly fell off. Seconds passed by slowly as the realization their friend was their enemy sank in. Lana's head began to shake and hot tears coursed down her face. Both of them looked at Relics like they couldn't recognize him anymore, their friend so quickly transformed in front of them into something evil.
"No… no, no, no," giggled the minx so strangely it made the two young men shiver. "You're just kidding! Relics, say you're only kidding."
Relics looked to the minx who seemed to be on the verge of tearing at the seam. Her head was still shaking, scattering the tears she shed all around her like rain. Had he not already expelled everything in his stomach, Relics would have thrown up again. The young man could scarcely draw breath and his heart hurt like a thousand needles stabbed him with every beat. It was like everything good in his life had been stripped from him and now he was wallowing in the thick of it.
"Lana…" Relics whispered, wishing he could fall to his knees and explain himself while apologizing feverously. Seeing the look of denial, betrayal, and hurt in her eyes was too much for him to bare.
"You son of a bitch!" Fox muttered, his gun now pointing at the space between Relics' eyes. "I'm not going to let you start a war! You're coming with me, and if you make a move without me telling you to, I swear, I will empty your head all over the walls!"
Relics turned his vacant eyes to Fox once more. "You should put the gun down, Fox, or I'm going to have to take it from you."
"I'd like to see you try. I'm looking for a reason to kill you, now."
"It would be extremely painful-"
"You won't feel it for long-"
A bead a sweat trickled through the orange fur of Fox's neck. Yesterday, he would not have been able to fathom being here, right now, in this moment. Relics had grown to be a close and reliable friend. He overlooked the differences between himself and the human, and welcomed him with open arms into his pack. Relics fit in so well with everyone in the group that looking back, the pack felt incomplete without him. It was inconceivable to think that deep down, Relics hated him, the pack, and even everyone in the Lylat so much that he wanted war between their kinds.
Relics had become the enemy.
"This is your last warning, put the gun down," Relics warned after a long and tense standoff.
"Fuck yo-" Fox began but wasn't able to finish.
Relics was on Fox faster than the fox's mind could register. The human did not want to maim or kill the vulpine, but he knew that if he didn't strike hard and fast, Fox wouldn't go down. So, Relics rapped the vulpine in the snout with two knuckles to draw a bit of blood and surprise him with a flash of sharp pain. Next, Relics kneed his friend in the stomach, causing air to rush out the fox's lungs. Finally, Relics ripped the gun from Fox's now limp grip and used the butt of the gun to clonk him on the head. It was all so fast, it was over in less than eight seconds.
"RELICS, STOP!" The human heard Lana yell as Fox crumpled to the floor.
"Oh god I love watching you work, Boo-bear," Miranda cooed, rematerializing behind Lana causing the minx to squeak in fright. "Hey there, kitty," the woman purred before grabbing Lana's arm and twisting it behind her back. Lana let out a cry of distress, her body being manipulated with pain to obey the spy. "My, what pretty moans you make. I like her. Reminds me a lot of you, Relics."
"Enough flirting, Miranda," Sharp growled as he appeared over Fox, his knee pressing against the struggling vulpine's neck. "Secure the girl and load her up on the shuttle. We've got work to do."
"Relics, I swear I will fucking kill you! I will kill you if it's the last thing I do!" Fox managed to shout before Sharp added more and more pressure, cutting off his air supply.
"You really pissed him off," Sharp chuckled as Fox fell into the grip of unconsciousness. "Is he your boyfriend or something?"
"He's my best friend," Relics admitted, no longer feeling the unyielding urge to answer every question with absolute truth. "Or at least I let him think he was."
"You liar! YOU LIAR!" Lana shrieked as she thrashed against Miranda who seemed to be enjoying the minx's struggling. "He is your friend! We're both your friends! You're lying! YOU'RE LYING!"
"Okay, honey," Miranda laughed as she grabbed a needle on the counter and injected it into Lana's neck. "This is all just a bad dream." Lana made a tiny squeak as the clear fluid was pumped into her veins. In a mere matter of moments, her eyes fluttered shut and she slipped into a deep sleep.
'I'm sorry, Lana. I'm so sorry,' Relics thought over and over as Miranda carried her away. 'This is all my fault! I can't do anything right! It's because of me that all this is happening. All I do is let my friends and family get hurt while I sit there and watch.'
Sharp grunted as he shouldered Fox's entire body with ease. "Your gear is in that footlocker. Grab it and be quick about it. We've got a war to start."
AUTHOR'S NOTES~~~ Hey everyone, sorry this chapter took almost a whole YEAR to be made. I can only hope that its engorged length makes up for it, however slightly. A lot of problems went into the development of this chapter, mainly the fact that I lost all progress on this chapter almost five times due to a crashed hard drive and human error (I forgot to save). Eventually I just started procrastinating over and over and that's why this update took 349 days to write. All I can say now is I hope that it was worth the wait. Hopefully the next couple of updates won't take nearly as long!
Also, special thanks to K.S. Reynard for beta-reading this chapter. If you haven't already, go check out his stories, they're pretty good gurl.