From nowhere to somewhere: Forsaken is back at the place his misery and havoc all started: ThornTail Hollow on Sauria. But he isn't happy to be here. He just has a mission to complete.

Chapter 1: Midlife Crisis

The night on ThornTail Hollow is chilling but comforting. A slight fresh breeze blows over the grass and flowers. Most ThornTails are sleeping and crawled against each other for warmth and snugness. The water coming from the waterfall in the background rattles softly into the river flowing through the middle. Crickets chirp from far away while fireflies roam around in groups. It gives it a dream-like atmosphere. But it soon turns into a more nightmarish image the moment the soft and dreamy sounds are disturbed by the intense and overdone sound of the exhaust of sleek, heavily lightened Arwing. The overpowering and gloomy aura surrounding the ship is what makes the crickets closer to it stop their chirping and spooks a small flock of flies away. The metallic black, almost shadowy color reflects the moonlight. Out of the black blob it is, a more rounded up and wider cockpit opens than a usual Arwing. Not willing to wait for the thing to open up whole, he slides underneath the small opening. His attached, right sleeve is hooked unto a sharp part on the underside of the cockpit, but he simply it pulls at it. It rips off from his body-armor instead from the sharp part. Not caring, he walks forward from the place he landed. He grabs the photograph and holds it between the same fingers. He looks at it, pulls a one-sided frown on his face and throws it away. Ironically, it lands on the exact spot where he first found Krystal's staff; where it all began.

*I feel like I'm in the core of all hell. Coming back here... might be the only thing except for her sane memories that raises any hairs on my arms. Making me shiver while I should feel relieved. *looks up at the sky* She is out there. Somewhere... *looks ahead, towards The Rock Giant or Warpstone* and that titan will bring me my relieve that I desire.*

With a firm punch on the side of his Arwing and with the same one-sided expression, a hatch opens. He turns towards it to see his rifle. Designated, accurate and experienced. An enormous monster it is. The dark brown, varnished lignum vitae (guayacan or guaiacum) wood forms the chassis for the big bolt-action system of a rifle whose appearance comes the closest to a Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr. It's isn't loaded yet, but the assortment is big enough. Energy rounds, standard, armor-piercing or blue-colored flare rounds. He grabs a load of the flare rounds and loads one into the rifle. He also grabs some standard rounds for backup. He looks through the iron sights; a front blade and tangent rear, graduated in 100 meter increments from 100 to 500 meters. A prominent muzzle brake is put on the front of the barrel to counter the impressive recoil. All with all: simple looking, yet deadly. He cocks it before walking towards the giant. No time for any searching for any bomb spore to blow up the wall; he puts the rifle on his as he climbs over wall and jumps down. It seems that the Warpstone is displeased by his action since there was no permission, but he doesn't understand his language.

*Slippy ain't here to translate your blabbing...* he thinks as if the Warpstone should know it. As the Warpstone keeps complaining, Forsaken simply walks towards the Warpstone until he stands on the spot where they met for the first time. Even though Forsaken doesn't understand anything and doesn't intend to even try, it seems that the Warpstone will not participate in whatever he's planning. A small grin comes on his face, forming on the other side while the rest stays a frown. Hard, but possible.

'I don't need you to take me to where I have to go... if you don't like it.' gestures Forsaken evil. What he said should be calming, but it's said with such a gloomy attire surrounding it. Like an echo haunting behind you. 'In fact, I don't need you to do that at all.' he states as he aims with his rifle for the stone behemoth, looking astonished at Forsaken's action.

'Didn't expect that, did ya Rocky?' mocks Forsaken as he starts his barrage. In one smooth move, he grabs the rifle from his back, aims down the sights and pulls the trigger without a second thought. The first one hits the Warpstone right between the eyes as it ignites into a small festivity of fireworks. He closes his left eye while the other keeps looking through the sights. A main reason is become of the redirection of larger amounts escaping high pressure gas coming from the round fired, causes some discomfort in his eye. With retinal detachment in the back of the head, he continues firing. He pulls the bolt back, releasing the empty cartridge (still sparking and glowing) as it falls to the ground. His right hand slides his pocket where he stashed the other rounds. He grabs one by the rim of the bullet and pulls it out. He slides it into the breech and closes it, completing the action before the fired cartridge clings on the rock pavement he's standing on. The red hot bullet stops into the surrounding grass... With the slick, almost robotic mechanism, it continues for seven more shots. After the third shot however, the red hot bullet sets the grass on fire, creating a ring around Forsaken. After all shots (7 in total) have been fired, the flares make a sort of pattern, like it seems. Forsaken puts his weapon back, like that was all. Instead, he grabs what looks like a C4-detonator. He has a folded antenna on the top and a wheel on the left side. He unfolds the antenna and points it towards his Arwing. He turns the wheel back and forth, like trying to send a message...
The Warpstone was too overwhelmed by the sudden barrage, he forgot to react. Now it's his turn.

He lifts his left, heavy arm up in the air and drops it towards Forsaken. Like squashing a fly, it can be just that annoying. Forsaken jumps back and thereby avoids the slam of the flat hand. It breaks off the stone pillar he was standing on, dropping the burning rock towards more grass... Forsaken sees his chance. He runs up the giant's arm until he reaches its shoulder. He jumps off and turns around in mid-air as he grabs his rifle again. He manages to fire two flares into his back before he lands in gap between a lot of rocks. After the second one ignites, a bleeping sound is heard coming from the Arwing. The Warpstone turns around, showcasing his other 7 flares towards the Arwing. Unintentionally, that was the trigger for Forsaken's plan. The Arwing beeps again as Forsaken grabs the detonator again. Turning the wheel, the Arwing gradually rises from the ground and hovers towards Forsaken's position. It descends once it's above him. This all under the watching eyes of a confused Warpstone. At his feet, the fires are starting to rise...

'Took you that long?' comments Forsaken as if the AI programmed is able to talk back at him. The Arwing's underside opens up and a ladder drops down. Forsaken grabs on and gets pulled back inside. The cockpit is like already mentioned a lot more wide. Luxurious even, to some extent. Everything is lightened and enhanced for better agility and firepower; except for the cockpit. It is probably just as heavy as the engine itself. He sits down while a screen boots up. A slightly static-showing description of the pattern detected. The computer forms the two together to form an image that looks just like Forsaken's painting on his body-armor; A skull being hewed through by a katana. It is a command and it is accepted by the computer. Automatically, the cupola of the cockpit opens again and Forsaken stands up. He climbs over the controls and stands on the front-end of the Arwing. The G-Diffusers of his Arwing come together as it flies over the Warpstone. Forsaken jumps off and lands in front of a meanwhile panicked Warpstone. Weeping over the fires raging at his feet, it seems that shouldn't be the problem.

*All this action. Makes me feel young again. When I was pure inside... and loving her. But those times are over. No midlife crisis for me.*

Forsaken distracts him by firing the standard rounds at the Warpstone. Ironically, he starts to hum the cover of Midlife Crisis by FNM. The rhythm just hit him and certainly made a point in his mood. The bullets however, ricochet and only enrage the Warpstone. Unnoticed by him, Forsaken's Arwing is coming closer to him. It turns around; G-Diffusers pointed towards an area just below the neck. When Forsaken fires his last shot, he looks falsely scared at the response the Warpstone is gonna give him. His one-sided grin comes up again as the G-Diffusers park against the Warpstone's back. The amount of energy produced by the activation of the boost and the blocking of the path to the exhaust, heats up the temperature and heightens the pressure levels by a significant quantity. Eventually, it's like a volcano erupting. With a faint rumble and a shock wave comes from the small crevice between the Warpstone and the G-Diffusers, the back of the Warpstone starts to degrade. Like a skin peeling rapidly, small parts crumble away. It's speed and intensity increases exponential to the point that the rest of the back and the even a large part of the stomach simply blows apart. With a last moan, the head (without its body) falls into the fire, which has been spread around more grass fields around. The enormous building brought down by the Will of a single man.

Forsaken's Arwing is hovering above him now and drops the ladder down again. Forsaken takes a last look at the remnants of the Warpstone and sees what was looking for: an Magnetic/Specific Gravity-Pull Energy Core. Or simply the M-SEC he wants. Shrunk to a small cube, he easily grabs snatches it out of the remnants as he lifts on the ladder while the Arwing flies over it. Forsaken is pulled up and sits down in his chair. He holds the glowing, blue cube in front of his face and his grin is two-sided for once as the Arwing makes its descent already.

It can't land in Krazoa Palace since there is no place for it. He has to find another way to get to it without the Warpstone he just blew to pieces. The radar detects a Cornerian Army base underneath him. It's build beneath the natural forest cover and black nets. A single container-like building is the only thing clearly visible. There seems to be just one guard, leaning with his chair against the wall. He is sharpening something; probably a stick out of boredom.

'Let's bring some excitement into that guy's live.' he says to himself as he turns back to avoid detection. He lands in a field a little further down and continues on foot. He leaves his rifle inside the Arwing and grabs his trusted blaster instead. The old design: a pistol with a red tip on the barrel. (Super Smash Bros: Melee) The only chances are the extended magazine, a muzzle brake and an optional grip. With his back against a large rock, he leaves behind a large trail of disabled mine fields and alarm systems.

*How such security does one front guard need!?*

He peeks around the corner to see if that the guard is still there. He is, but he isn't sharpening a wooden stick; it's a slim but strong and dead sharp iron spike. It seems to be part of a rubber-strip with more of those on it laying next to him He isn't dressed like a guard either. He misses the standard helmet and visor combo, the jacket and other uniformities. Instead, it's a body-armor is held together by stitches, staples, bandages and even tape. It also includes some holes in it. His boots aren't alike either. The right one is a black army boot, while the other is brown and has a steel nose. His trousers are very dirty, as if someone messed up at dinner. The right trouser leg is a little rolled up, with a minimal distance between the top of the boot and the ending of the trousers. Around those trousers, there is something that draws the most attention of all; next to several leather pockets, Forsaken could swear he would see a red-colored bottle. Skipping that and treating it as something for later, he continues observes. He also seems to wear a mask similar to that of the baseball's 'catcher'. The grates are made up like a game of tic-tac-toe. Attached to some bars, are several ends of flashlight with wires running towards them. If they work? No one except the guy himself knows.

*That guy is defiantly not a soldier. Is this base abandoned then? *goes back into hiding* Last time I've checked... *thinking* was around 6 years ago when I gave up on the search for her. In that time... I guess you can say that things might have changed. *cocks his blaster* But all things aside: that guy is in the way of me getting what I want: he has to die.*

With a quick turn, Forsaken pops up from behind the rock and fires the entire clip towards the position of the mysterious person. But he's gone; the chair is completely empty. The rubber-strip is gone too. Forsaken turns back as he reloads his blaster.

*Curious.* he deducts. *Something says me that I'm dealing with a telepath. No other way he would be able to hear what I was planning.*

Directly, his deduction is acknowledged. 'WOOSH!' is the only thing he hears before a loud cling sound forces him to drop his gun. His fingers start to bleed as they are cut open by something very sharp. The sound came from his right and as he turns his face towards it, he's blinded by the two flashlights on the mask of the mysterious 'guard'. His face gives either a drunken or high expression. It could be a mix. He is holding the rubber-strip in his right paw and used it as a whip to knock away Forsaken's weapon. Explains the cling when the spikes hit the blaster and the cuts when they slashed away the skin from his fingers.

'So...' comments the guard with a broken, typical redneck accent. '... you though I was weird huh? *shrug* Well, maybe I am. *prepares his strip again* But you'll be the last to know that.' he grins as his left paw reaches for the red-colored bottle on the belt and the right is holding the whip ready to strike at any given moment...

Is Forsaken in trouble? Who is this mysterious guy with a spike-strip whip? Read that in the next chapter.
The first real chapter for the Short Story that is Venus de Milo. Hope you've enjoyed it and see you next time!