Chapter Four: Run in the dark
I groaned and came to, shaking my head clear of the fog that clouded my vision. The first thing I saw was Snake talking to Tabuu.
The double-crossing son of a-I lunged for him, arms outstretched, but I was halted by chains and manacles across my wrists and ankles. Snake smirked at me.
"Look who's awake at last." He said smugly, walking up to me before hitting me in the face. "You need to learn a lot more respect, Hunter."
I spat at him. Not that it did anything other than cause him to hit me again, but harder this time. I sagged back, wincing slightly. Probably a concussion – as long as it's minor, I might be able to get out of this.
He glanced at me, that damn superior gaze of his driving me insane again. "Well, what a day. You kidnapped, Link dead, and Lowell dead too – he should have popped his clogs five years ago, but no, he had to survive. Last time I hire Wario for a sniper mission…"
I just sat there, too stunned to talk. I knew that Link had died, but Marth too? It just wasn't possible. Everything I'd seen of him – it was like he was invincible. And now he's gone too?
That was when one of Tabuu's men burst into the room. "Ganon's dead!" He blurted out. Tabuu glared at him.
"Shot multiple times. Knees and chest, along with one headshot. Injuries match those caused by a small caliber round – maybe a pistol, Five-Seven model most likely."
I grinned. Snake dropped his cigar. Tabuu scowled.
"Lowell." Snake and Tabuu snapped at the same time. I couldn't resist adding to the conversation.
"Looks like you're wrong, Snake. You took out Link, but now Marth's onto you. He'll hunt you down and kill you slow…" I taunted. Snake lashed out at me, but Tabuu grabbed his arm before the fist made contact.
"We cannot damage our blackmail against him." He said calmly, his slight Scottish accent showing through now that he was troubled. "However, since we have to blame someone…"
He pulled out his own pistol and shot the messenger through the head.
"…and now, Snake, we wait for him to arrive. He'll rise to any opportunity to save his precious little girlfriend, right Hunter?"
I glared at him with as much hate as I could possibly muster. This guy was dead meat. I'm going to kill him myself.
I was running. About five minutes ago, I heard one of the guards find Ganon's body.
What was left of it, anyway. I'd slung Falchion over my shoulder, relying on my Five-Seven to get me through this right now. I glanced around, and ducked into the shadows just as a group of henchmen came charging down the hallway.
First things first. Find somewhere to hole up for a while. But where could I possibly…
Bingo. Skylight. The roof should be fairly unoccupied…and if it isn't, well, it's still my best option. I scrambled towards it, clambering up the ladder and out the window. I was greeted, unfortunately, by the unmistakable clack of a shotgun being pumped.
"Don't move a muscle." A deep voice growled. Heavy English accent. Upper-class. Deep enough to match someone maybe 40, 45 years old.
And almost exactly identical to the one previously belonging to the dead body that I thought was Link's.
"…was he a relative of yours?" I asked carefully, putting the Five-Seven down. Link moved in front of me and nodded.
"Kid brother. Twenny years old. Who shot him?"
"Bastard. I'll kill him."
"Get in line." I hissed dangerously. Link grinned amiably at me.
"I intend to. Now then…"
A shot ricocheted off the chimney next to us. We both turned rapidly, me swinging Falchion into a firing position.
Three of Tabuu's henchmen were storming towards us, and who else was leading them but Triple D himself?
I threw myself into cover, wincing as shrapnel from the excessive assault rifle fire ripped into my thigh. I dropped, scoped, and nailed one of the henchmen, decorating the nearby wall with his brains. I was forced to duck back into cover as the other two poured an entire magazine each towards my position. Then the unexpected happened.
Link reached calmly into a case he was carrying, and produced A FREAKING ONE-SHOT GRENADE LAUNCHER.
"Fire in the hole." He grunted, leveling it and firing. Both henchmen were caught in the explosion, which ripped one's legs off and the other was almost completely vaporized.
By then, Triple D and his shotgun had already reached our position. Link whipped out a combat knife, and dived to meet him, slamming the blade into the pump to jam it. Triple D resorted to using it as a club in desperation, but I have to admit, Link moved pretty damn well for a 40-year-old man.
He got a few good punches in, picked Triple D up by the cuff of his shirt, and threw him off the building. I waited a few moments.
As soon as I got to 'three', there was a crunch. I winced. No way was something surviving a fall from THAT height. I let out a sigh of relief.
"Well, that's that then." I muttered, clicking Falchion's safety back on. Link nodded.
"I suppose. So, what's that leave Tabuu with?"
"Zero lieutenants, twenty-odd henchmen, and Snake. Who I have dibs on killing." I growled. Link started to smirk.
"Sounds like fairly even odds to me." He muttered, pumping his shotgun. I couldn't help but grin back.
"I suppose so. Their mooks haven't been up to much so far, have they?"
I was crying. I hated to admit it, but I was crying. I'd heard gunshots, explosions – I just hope Marth came out of it alive. I'm scared, and I hate to admit it. I hate to admit anything can shake me. I'm Samus FUCKING Aran, for crying out loud. Hunter, one of the best Agents ever – one of the best FIGHTERS ever, and here I am, crying like a baby because some man I've been pining over for the last five years might have just died. Snake grinned and watched me.
"Hehe…your little boyfriend is screwed, ain't he?" He drawled. Tabuu, across the room, sighed.
"Snake, lay off. I'm going to go check the men. Do what you want with her."
"Thank you sir…" He said with a leer. I tried to pull away, but I only managed to press myself against the wall as he got closer.
**Marth's POV **
After a brief period of deliberation, Link and I had finally reached what was probably as close a plan could get to non-suicidal we could make in this situation. I'd left him Falchion, and he'd snipe from the roof while I snuck inside and freed Samus. Not that she'd admit she needed rescued, but there's no point in complaining about it.
Of course, while outside the door to Tabuu's office I heard Snake's voice. Why the hell couldn't these things stay simple?
Then what he was actually saying registered.
"Stop shaking, it'll make things easier."
I'm not afraid to admit I lost it. I kicked the door down, and stormed towards him, pistol armed. Snake's head shot up and away from Samus, who was huddled in a corner, tears streaking down her face.
"Lowell-" He started to say, before I interrupted him.
I rammed the pistol into his mouth, breaking his teeth and not stopping until the trigger guard was lodged on his cheek. One second was stretched out into a single moment of clarity – his eyes looked into mine, begging, pleading me to let him live.
As you could imagine, my response was in the area of 'Hell no'.
I emptied the magazine into his skull, pulverizing his brain and smashing through the back of his head. In fact, most of the bullets still had enough force to break the window behind him after exiting. I turned and reloaded as the now-unrecognizable corpse fell to the ground, before walking over to Samus.
"Are you alright?"
"DO I FREAKING LOOK ALRIGHT?"
Well, some things never change… I mused to myself, cutting the ropes holding her to the wall.
Then she hit me.
"THAT'S FOR DRAGGING ME INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE!" I yelled in his face, dusting my hand off as he got back up.
"I dragged YOU into it? YOU DRAGGED ME INTO IT!" He yelled back at me. I twitched again, resisting the urge to punch harder this time.
"SHUT UP!" I screamed in his face.
"Do you WANT to get tied up again?"
"Maybe I do! You can re-do the rescue and NOT take three hours and make me think you got yourself killed!"
"Why should you care?"
"Because I love you!"
He gave me a blank stare. I bit my lip.
I chuckled from my vantage point on the opposite rooftop. Falchion had a good enough sight for me to read their lips from this distance.
I swear to god, that entire sequence was better than a soap opera!
I blinked a few times. Then, at last, I smirked.
Samus impersonated a fish for a while, before exploding. "WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?"
"Oh, come on. I've been dropping hints for YEARS."
"Yeah, well SORRY if I focus more on my work!" She snapped back at me. I chuckled.
"Yeah, well, can you rant at me later? We've kind of got to get out of here." I explained, opening the door.
Me and my big mouth I thought grimly, staring at the firing squad down the hall. Samus tackled me out of the way, at the exact same time that they opened fire. One fell over with his head exploded – that would be Link with his promised help, I suppose.
I needed a plan of some sort to get out of here – we're just too pinned down. Samus glanced at the ropes in the corner, then at the window.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" She asked slyly, grabbing two and making a quick reef knot.
"I hope so." I muttered, tying the other two together before helping her with the final knot. With this, we should be able to get out of the building alive.
"We're going to have to leave Tabuu, you realize." I growled, making a dash across the door's line of fire to get to the window. Samus dashed next to me.
"Big deal. Let the Agency deal with him – we're retired, remember?"
"I thought I was betrayed and you quit." I muttered dryly. Samus stared at me.
"I. Didn't. Shoot. You."
"I. Know." I mimicked, smirking. I became serious again afterward, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Sorry for the accusations."
"Sorry for not realizing you thought I had." Samus muttered, clambering out the window. I followed her, and we scrambled down the wall onto the streets.
"Let's make a run for it." Samus said bluntly, heading for a side street.
"Yeah. One second." I said distantly, pulling out a phone and going into preset dials.
"Link? Coast is clear. Rendezvous at church good for you? 'kay thanks."
I hung up before he could respond. Samus gaped at me.
"Are you insane? Link is dead."
"Technically, no. It's a long story. Follow me."
I dived into the streets, Samus behind me. I know this place like the back of my hand – a few years doing nothing but hunting down criminals through these streets would do that for you.
I cursed and punched the nearby wall.
"Damn it! Lowell…you'll regret this." I swore under my breath. My one surviving lieutenant shrugged.
"Ah, come on boss. It's not like he's that good. Who the heck is he, anyway?" Wario muttered, grabbing a bag of chips from his pocket. Tabuu twitched dangerously.
"A friend of death, a brother of luck and a SON of a BITCH."
Wario paused. "…doesn't narrow it down much."
"It doesn't need to. Give the order to pack up. We're moving out to a different town."
Epilogue: It's a long way to go
**Two years later…Marth's POV**
I groaned and slammed my head onto my desk. Stupid paperwork. Stupid new job in police force. Stupid red tape.
"I miss the agency." I groaned. Samus – who worked with me on most cases – smirked.
"After you left, it went downhill – people had to have regulations, for some reason. Anyway…at least you're not getting shot at so often anymore."
I nodded. "Yeah. It's nice knowing you don't have to worry about being shot in the dark."
Samus sighed, and shut down her computer. "Things sure got better though, haven't they?"
I couldn't disagree with that either. I just glanced over at her, then at her hand. The ring I wanted to give her all those years ago glistened on it, as though knowing I'd be looking for it.
"Yeah…they sure did." I paused for a moment. "Can't help but wonder what happened to Tabuu, though."
I was running through the streets of Yuan City. The damn agency had sent two agents to hunt me down and kill me.
Callsigns: Prince and Hunter. How ironic. However, even if it WAS Lowell and Aran, I had no choice but to run – they'd already taken out the last of my guards, including Wario, for all the good he's ever done.
I ran around the corner, straight into a trap. The two agents, still helmeted, leveled their weapons at me.
"…Lowell." I growled. The 'prince' shook his head.
"Marth's retired. I'm Roy, his trigger happy replacement. Hunter over there with the shotgun is Ike."
"Evening." Ike grunted, pumping it.
I opened my mouth to try and reply, but Roy dashed forwards and past me. Something slammed against my throat.
I started falling, even though I couldn't feel anything. Then I saw the blood gathering on the floor.
I shrugged. "Ah, well. Not our business anymore. I'm about done. Want to go home?"
Samus glared at me. "…pervert."
I laughed. "Oh, blame me for trying, why don't you?"
I got up and grabbed my coat, kissing her lightly on the lips.
"See you later."
I made a run for it. Seconds later, Samus exploded.
"MARTH ALTEA LOWELL! DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE ME WITH YOUR PAPERWORK!"
Once again…some things never change. Thankfully, some things do.
At least Murphy's law seems to have finally stopped applying to me.