I covered my face with my arm as I crashed through the window as I continued running from rooftop to to rooftop, hopping between the gaps. My pursuer's breath sent my hair on end as I swore he got closer and closer. No amount of acrobatics or bluffs hindered his progress and any second now he would catch up with me. It was inevitable and all I could do was hold down his progress in a vain hope of salvation.

Eventually I reached the end of the block and along with it the building. My mind raced with possibilities as my assailant got closer and closer. Using Ron at this time would just be idiotic, a blast from the rock cannon would alert everyone of my presence, even at this time. The fire works exploded in the sky as I made my decision, as I turned around I smiled as I flipped him off and booked it, jumping off the roof into the crowd below.

I ripped through a tarp used as a tent, softening the fall. My surroundings felt odd, as I ripped off a piece of the tarp that was covering my eyes I soon discovered why. I had somehow managed to fall into a large crate of oranges which meant good news and bad news. Good news: I don't think I broke any bones because of it. Bad news: I was going to need a good shower to get this orange juice out of my hair.

"Stop her!"

Shit. I jumped out of the bin as raced into the crowd, pushing and shoving through a crowd that must've been the whole town. As people cursed at me for pushing them I noticed that the yells of "para la!" and "stop her!" became more distant. I smirked to my self as I ducked into an alleyway of New Miami, finally being able to calm down. In hindsight I should've used Ron while I was in the pub but what's done is done.

I sighed as I tried to catch the rest of my fleeing breath until... "Resting Black Rock Shooter?"

I screamed as my a cold metallic... thing... grabbed my head and squeezed. A roaring pain came over me as my neck tried to hold up the rest of my limp body.

"Despite how he was acting that man was your valet," I grabbed at the metal hand that held me but couldn't ease the grip. I was at the complete mercy of my holder, whoever she was.

"Oh how I wish we didn't have to meet this way," I yelled again as she slammed me again the wall of the alleyway. I had literally left an imprint. "Such a shame," she said as my vision blurred with my slipping conscious and streams of blood in my eyes.

"Ron! Pois-"


A few days before, Caspar's Bar

"Hey Casz, what you got for us?"

"What don't I have?" Caspar smiled and began serving us our usual drink while pulling off some bartender tricks. He was in a good mood.

We sat down and began to drink as he took out a notepad from under the bar and flipped through it, "Alright girls, we got a few jobs out there: escorts, hits, espionage, security-"

Matagi groaned at this but Caspar kept his up his pace, "mercenary positions, kidnappings, and most interestingly enough, a rendezvous."

I perked up at that, this was interesting. But first things first... "That espionage is good for Devil Girl, that's her specialty."

"Alright then!" Caspar nodded and ripped out a page from his notepad, all the details and cords written on it. I handed it to Matagi as I continued on, "And that hit Caz?"

"Fifteen hundred, and he's only a politician, or something like that," he traced over the page with his finger and skimmed along, "he's an anti-monarch, and he's an enemy of the client."

I shrugged as Caspar handed me the page, "Meh, sucks we have to kill the guy. Mag you-?

"Yeah sure," Matagi was so good at reading my thoughts sometimes. Kudos to her.

"You gonna take Maid with you?"

"Y'know I'm not too sure if I want to."

"She hasn't gotten enough hitman missions on her belt."

"Rendezvous rarely come in, why not teach her now?"

"If it's a trap then what?"

"Exactly, then you have backup."

"Not to be rude but, what help is she gonna be?"

Matagi bit her lip and nodded slowly, "Alright, whatever."

"Alright Caspar, give me some info," I took a sip from my drink, this was gonna be fun.

"Been to New Miami?" He asked.

I nodded, New Miami, as the name suggested, was a town built over the ruins of the old Miami. It's mostly a port town now and one of the more powerful nation-states on the east coast along with New Manhattan.

"Well it's going to be on the first day of their festival, and they left a two thousand Obvo deposit," Caspar explained and flipped through his notebook, ultimately tearing a page out and handing it to me. An address was scribbled on with a handwriting unlike Caspar's and a check was attached, an Oblivion check, I'd never be able to redeem this without going to an Oblivion bank. Surely they knew bounty hunters were banned from Oblivion.

"Caspar who gave this to you?"

"She was short, had white hair, and looked very young," his facial expression was slightly confused as he asked, "why?"

I pointed to the top of the bill, it read, "Official Oblivion Territories Government Check."

"It's a government check," setting the check flat on the counter I again had to ask, "what's she look like again?"

"Small, young, white hair, wore a hoodie."

"Any idea Matagi?"

Caught off guard she just shook her head. I sighed as I racked my memory trying to think of anybody from Oblivion that fit that description. The check wasn't helpful either, as where a signature would normally be was just an empty space. "Tsk," I hopped off my stool and put down the usual amount of money, "Alright thanks Caz."

"Are you actually going to go Rock?" Caspar asked as Matagi began to follow. I flashed a peace sign,

"You bet."


Two days before arrival at New Miami

"Alright guys, everyone ready?"

"Calm down will you?" Butler's ever annoyed voice came from under the humvee, "I can't figure out why this bloody damn pipe is leaking."

Ah the stupid humvee, ever since we got the floors unlocked we also got a bunch of vehicles, mostly planes and helicopters, but obviously we weren't using those, and the only car left was a broken humvee. Thus Butler now works on it in his spare time. It works now by the way, it just doesn't well. Currently it's been leaking oil and not starting right away.

"All right," Butler crawled out and whistled, resounding through the hangar we kept the bike and humvee in, "that should do it, just had to tighten a few screws, turns out it was the anti-freeze."

I just stared at him, "it runs?"

"It runs," he answered plainly.

"Good," I turned around to the trike (we parked the humvee on the left of the hangar and the trike on the right) and faced Matagi and Maid Gunner who were chatting on the bike, "Alright you two, you know what you gotta do, good luck."

"Be careful sis!" Butler yelled as he cleaned his hands with a rag.

"Thanks..." Maid Gunner mumbled as Matagi took off on my trike.

I sighed, "she does care for you, you know, I was a little sister too once."

He shook his head as he held in a chuckle, "once?"

"She always hated my hair, thought I should've had it long and laced," I explained.

"You must've been one 'ell of a little sister," he shook his head, "atleast you got one part right."

"I used to have it up to here," I pointed to the bottom of my ear. He nodded then asked, "weren't you going somewhere?"

"Oh shoot," I checked the giant clock that hung from the wall. This was a military base though so fifteen hundred hours...that's three hours after twelve so... "three o' clock, dark comes soon. Have you seen Devil Girl?"

A yawn came from the humvee as the window rolled down, "Sorry, was napping."

"How the 'ell did you get in there without me noticing?" Butler asked the dreary Devil Girl. In response she shrugged and rolled the window back up.

"I'll be going then Butler," I began to walk off to the humvee, "say bye to Mii for me alright?"

I turned the key of the humvee as I got on, bringing the motor alive and...oh good, a false start.

"Butler!"

"I know, I know," he walked over to the humvee and leaned on the back with his back, "I'm gonna push. Turn the key when I say now."

I turned off the e-brake and waited, "3...2...1. NOW!"

I turned the key as we slowly began building up speed, sooner or later we were off and left eastward.


A day later, arriving at New Miami

"Arriving at NEW Miami," read the sign. I laughed at the spray painted "NEW," it looked so cheap and stupid. It did really well welcoming me to the city. I walked calmly as I aproached the city limits, I had dropped off Devil Girl Northwards and hidden the Humvee in a nearby swamp. I took out the note as I zipped up my coat and pulled on my hoodie, felt odd, been a while since I used my hood.

"622B Central Street," I pocketed the note again and continued down the streets. The roads looked like undersized lakes and the children that from a third world country. This city was one of the more powerful at the present moment, yet looked like one of the worst twenty years ago. I sighed as I shoved my hands into my pockets and tried to ignore the ever growing amount of kids surrounding me.

"Hey miss!"

"Miss!"

"That's a guy! Do you think a girl would look so cool?"

"Girls can be cool too!"

"Are you from around here?"

"Why do you look so cool?"

I sighed as I finally looked down, "I'm busy but can you point me to where the festival's gonna be?"

They all pointed down the street until a pudgy boy said, "It's at the ports, all-l the way over there, but we can't go there! It's a surprise! Not until midnight, with the fireworks."

"Is that why you're all past your bedtimes?" I asked.

They nodded and I smiled and patted the pudgy one on the head, "thanks everybody I'll be on my-" I stopped when in the corner of my eye I saw two girls, one about fourteen, the other eleven. The older one held the little one back as they stared, even after making eye contact. I walked towards them and tried a friendly smile only for the the older girl to make the younger one step back, sheesh is my smile that bad? "Wha' you wan'?" The older girl said, holding the younger one back as far as she could," Ma' says you boun'y hun'ers don't give a damn 'bout life. I'm tellin' you, stay away from my sister 'n me, 'n all them other kids too, they're good kids, ain't done nothin' wrong."

I held out a few coins and the little girl instantly broke free and grabbed them only to stop and look at me with her eyes, the sudden realization of what they'd done glimmering off them.

"Annie get back 'ere!"

"It's alright, the money's for both of you," I patted "Annie" on the back, letting her off scampering back to her sister. "You know who I am, don't you?" I asked.

"They say stories 'bout ya' and yo gang, the ones with them stars, say you heros some, others that you evil. I think you gotta be bad, ya' just can't kill people 'cause you want to. ...but you just..."

"...Gave you money?" I again shoved my hands into my pockets, "so I did."

"Why?"

"World's not always black and white you know, things are gray, orange, and blue, you just never know. I myself do what I have to do, never killed a man who never had it coming," I paused as I decided to change the subject, "You're not from around here are you? Your accent's different."

"No'm. We used be from Louisiana, then them damn Mexicans gone and kick us out. 'After all we did for 'em' my momma alway say."

"It was our fault really," I said remembering the days.

"Not Mexicans anymore," I mubled.

"Here," I got out half of what was left of my budget and placed it in her hand, "don't tell your 'momma' and get yourself and your sister a good meal alright? The best that money can buy."

"But..." she protested.

"Black and white remember?" I said once again warming my hands in my pockets, "Know where 622B Central Street is?"

"That atop a bar, you won't be able to get in though, that where the festival's gonna be, it all closed," she explained.

"Thanks," I turned around and began walking off down the street again."

"'Ey Miss!"

I turned around, "yes?"

"Are you really Black Rock-?"

"Shh," I nodded as I put my index finger to my lips, and for the last time pocketed my hands and continued down the streets.

It took a while but I finally reached the end of the street. From afar I could see that the pier had a medium sized steam boat and several buildings before it. Multiple tarps were hung up as a tent to cover up the stalls that had placed themselves in the middle of the road. Also in view was the only bar in sight, this had to be the place but how would I ever get through the two guards patrolling the area? Meh, I'll go through the back.

After another long trek around the buildings surrounding the bar I finally came across the back door. Now, the question is, is it unlocked? ... No, of course not. I sighed as I looked up onto the clouds, the clouds were really blocking out the moon's light making it really hard to see. I really hoped for my, and the the festival's sake, they weren't storm clouds.

Well one course of action left, there was always that small bathroom window. After all what could go wrong I had done this before once when I was six. Using a nearby bucket for height I then slowly slid the window open with the palm of my hand. Alright if I remember correctly the hardest part was the shoulders. Breathing out I went in head first then my hands so I could use the wall for support. Pushing hard, against the wall my shoulders popped right through, though it did feel tighter against my chest. Alright. Now the rest was easy, I was already to my stomach and- oh. Hips, didn't have those when I was six.

Okay this is seriously a problem, no matter how much I pushed I was not budging, neither one way or another. I looked around for anything that could help me out and luckily there was a small bar of soap on the sink, if only I could reach it. I reached out and could only touch it with the tips of my fingers. Cursing my self for being a complete idiot I slowly pushed the soap towards me until...

"Got it! ...Oh crap." In my mad excitement I had grabbed the soap too hard, causing it to go flying upwards and landing on the floor. After trying to reach it again it quickly became apparent that it was ever slightly too far to even touch. "Damn," I cursed as I punched the wall I was stuck in.

"'Ey, what was that?"

Oh crap. I stopped struggling and held my breath as I waited anxiously.

"Eh? Dunno, probably the people outside, gettin' restless."

"Guess you're right..."

"Come on, let's head out, the fireworks are startin' in a bit."

"Alright."

I gave a sigh of relief as the two male voices stopped and a door was slammed shut. Phew.

"Psst," I said tapping Ron on the head, "hey Ron wake up." The top part of him uncoiled and stared at me, "yes?"

"I need you to uncoil and get that soap," I pointed at the soap on the ground and his little snake head nodded. His body slithered down my arm and tightened his "tail" around my wrist. The front part of him stretched out and coiled around the soap,slowly bringing it back and dropping it in my hand. Ron returned back to his regular position as I looked at the soap. This was going to be a little gross but deperate times call for desperate measures. With a sigh of indignation I began spitting on the soap, hydrating it so it could make bubbles that I could use to escape my situation.

"I'll be right back! Just gotta use the bathroom!"

I gasped as I gave up on the soap and tried pushing with all my might. My arms ached with more and more strenght I used. I could feel myself moving ever so slightly but it wasn't enough, I had to get unstuck. With one final push I popped out as the bathroom door swung open and a man walked in. We stared at each other for a second, me on the floor trying to stand up after being stuck in a window for what seemed like forever, and a man in his thirties that was obviously an ex-military man.

"Who the hell are you?!" He yelled out as he fumbled with his belt to take out his gun from its holster. I stumbled up as he finally got his gun out and fired. Luckily for me a firecracker exploded at the same second masking the gun's sound. I ran throught the main area of the bar and up some stairs to two rooms 622B and 622C. Obviously just rooms to stay for the night I decided to bust through the door to 622B in hope of someone or something to help me.

The door remained relatively intact except for a few splinters after slamming it in with my shoulder. Looking around the room I saw a whole lot of nothing. All there was was a bed, a flickering lamp, and a window rendered useless due to a wall two buildings over that covered the view of the ocean. I tsk'ed, not only was I being followed the client was a no show.

As I heard footsteps from the stairs I had to plan on my course of action quickly. Cursing once again I planned my ambush near the doorway, waiting for the moment to jump on him. That moment approached quickly as the man entered the room and met my fist. Continuing my momentum of the situation I punched him again and followed up with a kick to his hand. The pistol went flying through the air as I frantically took a hold of it, "Ha! Now who has the upper-? Oof!"

I coiled over as oxygen left my system. I struggled for air while having to duck to my right as he tried a hook to my face. I ducked under him again and ended up behind him only to be elbowed in the back of my head, making me lose my balace. Wobbling and trying to stay planted on the ground the ex-military seized the opportunity and tried to take hold of the pistol I had just stolen from him earlier.
We struggled to take control of the weapon, a tide changer in our battle. As we struggled I suddenly jerked it his direction, pushing him against the wall. He was still determined though and refused to let go. I yelled and promptly kicked him in the sides only to have the tides turned and myself get pushed back against the wall. I gasped as he jerked it again and I went tumbling onto the bed while the gun went flying right out the window. Once again a moment's pause came between us as we stared, I had once again fallen and he was astonished.

Not for long. Knowing I could make it to the one story building next to us I again stumbled to get up.

I covered my face with my arm as I crashed through the window as I continued running from rooftop to to rooftop, hopping between the gaps. My pursuer's breath sent my hair on end as I swore he got closer and closer. No amount of acrobatics or bluffs hindered his progress and any second now he would catch up with me. It was inevitable and all I could do was hold down his progress in a vain hope of salvation.


?

My head throbbed as I mumbled curses and woke up. I felt my hands locked in place and unable to move, the same going for my legs. Memories flashed back to me as I remembered what occurred before I was knocked out. A wave of fear surged through my body, where the hell was I? There was no sound of fireworks so some considerable amount of time must've occurred.

"Oh sorry," I turned my head as much as I could backwards and saw a girl about seventeen, "I kinda fell asleep while guarding you, that's some pretty strong language."

"Rubs off on you when you're in my business," I said as my assailant came into full view, white hair, hoodie, young, this was undoubtedly the girl Caspar had met. She wore a black sleaveless hoodie sweater, a sort of neck brace attached to her hoody, gloves that stretched to slightly less than the full size of her arm, and stockings that reached half way up her thigh. Her face was what caught my attention though, it looked unusually young. Her eyes a very vibrant shade of orange and, as cheesy this sounds, hair reminiscent of freshly fallen snow.

"I'm sure you probably do, with all the people you meet," she said as she placed down her chair in front of me. "I'd love to untie you but I have no guarantee you won't run away."

"You're awfully nice for somebody who has me captured," I remarked as I stared at the person who sat infront of me.

"You're worth more to me alive than dead."

"You're from Oblivion, you know the 'Empress' wants my head."

She gave a chuckle, "I think she'd rather have you alive as well."

"You've talked to her?"

"Yes and she's very cross with you," she again chuckled before settling on a very stern face, "in fact that's why I'm here."

"No!" I yelled out as I struggled to free myself. I should've known the second I saw that check, why didn't I see this trap coming? "I'm not

going back! No way in hell!"

She seemed awfully calm and it even seemed to seep into her tone of voice, "I didn't come here to take you in, not to sound rude or anything, but I could've done that anytime I wanted. Instead I just wanted to tell you something important."

I stopped struggling, something inside of me wanted to know what she would say, "Go on..."

"War's approaching, Oblivion and Jalisco will meet and it won't end well," although her patience was prominent there was also a slight twinge of melancholy, "I want to make you a deal."

"I have connections in both the Oblivion Empire and the F.S.C.J. I can let you live there peacefully and royally. Nobody Will ever know it's you."

I held in a mocking chuckle, "yeah and my team?"

"Of course, they shall receive the same treatment, I give you my word."

"No thanks," I said expecting to be in pain in a few minutes.

"Alright," to my surprise she nodded like if she were okay with it, "that's okay."

"Who are you really?" This was too much knowledge for one person to have, she knew how to contact me, knew Dead Master personally, and knew of a war that hadn't happened yet.

"Call me Strength," she said as she took out a small Swiss army knife, "although if we meet again I won't be able to be so sociable."

"Mhm," I nodded as she cut the rope holding my hands together. I stretched them to work out the cramp in wrist as she continued to the ones on my legs, "promise not to attack me? I don't want to get the vallet here."

"Whatever, just set me free," I said as the ropes holding my legs to the chair were cut, leaving me free. I stood up slowly, blood flow seeping back into my mostly dormant legs. My back cracked along with my knuckles and neck as I stretched, that chair really had to be torn out.

I turned around to inspect the room and what I found startled me. Over by the door (I was facing the windows on the opposite side), were a pair of large metal hands. My god, "Strenght," really was the one who had captured me. I wasn't sure if it was or wasn't for certain but no doubts now.

"Ah, sorry, those are my Ogre Arms," she said as she rubbed the back of her head, "yeah that's the thing I used on you, sorry but you were getting away. Had to."

"Could've just asked," I said trying to be as snarky as possible even though I was scared of what she could do if she could use those arms.

"Hihihi," she laughed as she went over and put her hands in a certaint socket of her metallic ones, "I'll try that next time."


A day later, mid-ex-United States, exact location unknown

I manually slid the window down with my hand since the button for it seemed broken. The air was awfully stuffy and having two people inside a cramped space was not helping. Neither was Devil Girl's silent and composed lifestyle, it just made the whole damn trip back boring as the time I spent three months in the medical room. Maybe if I asked her to actually elaborate on what happened during her mission she'd actually tell me more than, "it went fine."

"So..." I began, not knowing really how to continue.

"You're bored aren't you?" She said from the back seats, she really like laying down back there.

"Uh yeah," I answered back.

"Sorry, I just don't-"

"It's alright, I'm just used to the chatty Matagi. I understand you two aren't the same, even if you two do get along," Devil Girl and Matagi were a dangerous duo, if too bored the two will play some sort of prank, nobody is safe, not even themselves.

"That's the thing," she said as she sat up, "the way it is here at Black Star, it's therapeutic. It's like family."

"We all get at each other's throats," I chuckled, "how's that remotely like a family?"

"Yeah, exactly like a family, Mii is like the mother-ish older sister, you're the sister everyone looks up to, me and Matagi are yin-yang twins, Maid Gunner is the littlest of us all, and Butler is the brother stuck in a family of girls. Poor guy, he can look but he can't touch," she sighed.

"Meh," I responded at the idea of Butler going out with the team, "I'd kick him out the second he looks at me like that."

"You and Matagi don't have to worry, me and Mii have all the attention," she snickered. I gave her snake eyes using one of the mirrors, knowing what she was insinuating, "maybe I'll kick you out instead."

"Uh..." she stuttered and tried to change the conversation, "Did you really not think of the team as a family kinda?"

"I was used to getting along with my sister," I said, once again getting on the subject of my sister, "we got along pretty well, even if she was older than me by three years. She liked playing dress up with me no matter how old she was."

I heard her snickering in the back so I joined in, "I know, sue me, I was normal once!"

We calmed down from our laughing fit and I continued, "She always hated my hair, mine was the darkest in the whole family and she was really jealous of it. She especially hated how I had pig tails, absolutely hated it. Bet she'd hate how I burned one side."

"You burned it?" She asked.

"Yeah, it was during a trip to Oblivion," I sighed remembering my stupid mistake, "then I cut the end wrong and never bothered to make it even."

I began to swim in my thoughts and without me realizing, I did so in silence. As I stopped thinking about my sister and my past travels to the Oblivion Territories I realized Devil Girl had fallen asleep again.

This was going to be a long drive.


Dead's Poem

As I sit upon my lowly pedestal
I am pleased by all, men and women alike
As I'm served atop the regal mantle
Despite what they believe my thoughts are very childlike
As I govern my people from my great and mighty castle
Only one, and only you will ever end my reich
And only you, my only friend.

As you left me,
I was split in two
As I reign now restless and antsy
I dream of the day you return and I become anew
As I dream of the day you can look upon me and smile warmly
And my golden land finally comes true
And I will wait, my only friend.

For you task me, you task!
I see in you insurmountable grace,
For you left me only as a mask
With much adoration only you I will embrace
For how am I, in my position, without you, supposed to bask?
To retrieve you, and put you in your place
And I will, my only friend.

For I'll chase you round the horn
Over China's mighty walls
For I'll follow you through the angriest of storms
Through the Sahara's desert and all it enthralls
For I'll chase you to end this infernal chore
Please hear my call
And only you, my only friend.


Black Rock Shooter is the property of the artist, Huke, no copyright infringement intended. I would appreciate, support, comments, and constructive criticism. See a spelling/grammar mistake don't be hesitant to mention it in a review, negative or positive. Okay so I lost that short I promised and took my sweet damn time on this one. Though I still have some of what I promised and five chapter's in one! Yeah, this is a new format I'm trying, five chapters into one, tell me what ya' think of it. Also about that poem, it's another I think I don't like but people told me it was good so I threw it in anyways. It's about experimentation y'know? Also anyone miss Mii in this chapter? I miss Mii.

Silently content with this chapter,

Ωmega