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Meeting Old Friends Edit

It is a cold winter day in the fringe world of Krimsoun, bound to become colder as the sun sets in the west. Yet even as the day comes to an end, several vehicles fly throughout the sky and traffic to their respective destination. One of these cars descends into the street road on the ground. The red car accelerates as its wheels touch the ground weaving past heavy traffic. It only slows down as it parks in front of the 'Red Spirits' bar. The young woman driver gets out and stretches.

Nicole Zachary is a woman who looks to be around her mid 20's. She has medium brown hair, parted in the center in front, and tied into a low ponytail in back. Her face is heart shaped with moderately high cheekbones and is complete with two deep green eyes. She wears a coat as well as a pair of boots, long pants, and short gloves to protect herself from the frigid winter air.

"*Sigh*. . . Honestly . . . Would it have killed him to hang around for at least another day?" Nicole Zachary mutters to herself. "Well, I guess it won't matter too much; After all, we're both going to be working on the same ship together soon. I'm sure we'll both get plenty of time to talk then."

Nicole enters the bar, which is currently serving a few patrons. It is a moderately sized, square restaurant. Tables with chairs are organized throughout the middle of the building, with booths situated at the walls. A jukebox can be seen near the middle of the bar. At the far wall is the bar itself, with several stools in front of the counter. Nicole makes her way to the counter and settles down in the middlemost stool. She looks left and right with a frown on her face but sees no one else around on her side of the counter. The bartender walks up to her, "Ah you're back. What do you want this time Miss Nicole?"

Before she can respond, Nicole hears a voice behind her. "She'll have an Apple Ent light, and I'll have an Orcsher."

Nicole turns around and sees the person she was meeting tonight.

Erika Elberta Damos Von Jika, or simply Erika to Nicole, is wearing a long, thick navy blue coat with a hood that covers her from her head to just below her kneecap. Erika's angelic wings were mysteriously absent, most likely hidden under her coat. Her knee-high black boots are worn but polished. Erika brings her hood down, showing her cropped brunette hair, and a genuine smile; which seems out of place to Nicole as she usually scowls as much as her father. A necklace is on her neck, with a large, black, circular jewel embedded in the middle of it.

Seeing her friend brought a smile to Nicole's face. "ERIKA!! IT'S BEEN TOO LONG!!" Nicole pulls her into a squeezing hug.

"Uufff, yes. Yes. It's been far too long. You can let me go now."

"No. You know you like it."

"Nicooole...."

"Oh fine."

Nicole stops the hug, and the two sit down. As they grab their drinks Erika starts the conversation.

"My goodness, when was the last time we spoke face to face? It seems like it's been an eternity."

"It's been a solid four and half years. We've been apart pretty much ever since I left for boot camp, and even before that we didn't meet up much."

"Right. At least you got off lucky with simply boot camp. You didn't have to follow orders under the command of, and I quote, "Lord-captain Serventus Gillian Freddrick Von Gulbrant". A ridiculous title for a ridiculous man."

"Oh, I got off lucky, sure. You at got to be inside of a ship with air conditioning most of the time. I, on the other hand, was exposed to every possible humiliating order from my drill instructors, but hey I'm the lucky one!"

"I'm more than willing to bet that you deserved every one of those orders, Nicole."

Looking offended, Nicole replies "Et Tu Erika? Why would you think that?"

"Need I remind you of the time we spent together when you infiltrated my camp during my training regiment with Grok? You know, when we were around ten?"

"I didn't infiltrate your camp! I volunteered my services to aid you against Uncle Grok."

"A reckless endeavor which almost cost you your life. If it had been any other orc that was in charge of the opposing team in that ungodly hell hole of a training field, you would not be here today."

"Don't be so overdramatic Erika. Fighting against Uncle Grok wasn't that bad. Our lives were never really in danger, although it sometimes got a little too close to being that sometimes."

Erika gave Nicole a stare that could burn a hole through her head.

"He tied me up, and launched me in a medieval catapult."

Nicole tries to stifle a laugh but fails miserably. "Oh come on that was hilarious! Also, he put up a net to catch you in case you couldn't untie yourself in time!"

"A net which was nowhere near where I would have landed, no, splattered if I hadn't got my wings out in time."

"Well you see Erika, that's because you didn't weigh as much as the test rocks they launched earlier. If you were fat, the net would've worked!"

"I'll remember that the next time I indulge myself with cake."

As the two continue to talk, several patrons enter the bar and start drinking. They notice a drinking competition taking place at the center of the bar, but ignore it. Several minutes pass by as the two catch up.

Nicole finishes her drink. "So after flying through the debris field, your dad calls my dad and tells him that he has to pick up, 'the Sarcophagus'. He left within the hour, leaving me on this freezing rock. Luckily for us, you bothered to call me for a night out, and now we're here we are."

"I've heard about that Sarcophagus. It truly is a fitting gift for the Admiral."

"True, but couldn't he just have given dad a new Battlecruiser? It's been about a decade since the Xeno incident, and he's still operating in that tiny frigate."

"I'm afraid I can not comment on that topic. Such decisions are beyond me as of right now."

"Fine . . . Then how about you tell me what else you're up to on this planet? There's no way you came all the way to the fringes of a conquered orc world just to see me unless you had another agenda."

Erika subtly winces back. Avoiding eye contact with Nicole, she asks the bartender for another drink. She sighs as she talks. "I came here to see you. Whatever else I'm doing here is none of your concern, nor should you try to get involved in-"

"BUUUUULLSHIT! Come on Erika! Stop being as much of a stiff as your dad for the moment! I'm here, I'm bored, and I have time on my hands, so why not let me help on this one? It wouldn't be the first time we worked together on a mission."

Erika rolls her eyes and resumes eye contact with Nicole. "No it wouldn't be, but every mission that I 'recruit' you for, ends up becoming far more complicated once you get involved. The last thing I need is your shenanigans interfering with my objectives."

At that moment, the conversation is cut short as they hear shouting behind them.

A Priest, A Mercenary, And A Hunter Walk Into a Bar Edit

(Several minutes earlier.)

Axel Grimm steps into the Red Spirits bar with a smile on his face. He is a muscular man in his mid-twenties of average height with a black crew cut, and a sauntering gait that exudes confidence.

He is currently wearing standard military armor and is armed to the teeth. While such attire is certainly unusual, it is not uncommon in such a hostile world as Krimsoun. His armor is made of two layers and is split into a shirt and pants sections. The first layer is a form-fitting under armor, which reduces ballistic injury, with the second layer sporting kevlar plates which protect him even further while allowing for ease of movement.

His ballistic armaments include a pair of pistols in their gun holsters, a submachine gun strapped behind him by his belt, and a high powered rifle on his back. On his chest piece are a pair of knives, their pointed tips pointing diagonally upward inside their sheaths.

"This seems like a good place to get a drink, let's see if the booze is up to snuff." Axel takes a seat close to the center of the bar.

He spies a waitress coming up to him, and turns his attention to her. "Hello sir, welcome to the Red Spirits Bar" she starts. "How may I help you today?"

With a smile, Axel tells the waitress, "Give me a shot of every drink you have!"

The waitress smiles. "Will do sir." She leaves for a moment but comes back quickly with several shot glasses. Axel eagerly downs the drinks.

After ten shots, however, he gets frustrated. "They must have watered this down with orc piss because this is the worst shit I've ever drunk in my life!" He waves over the waitress.

"How may I help you, sir?"

"Hey, do you guys have anything worth drinking around here that isn't orc piss? Give me the best thing this place has to offer!"

A twinge of irritation briefly flashes over the waitress's face, but it disappears under a calm smile. "Well sir, if you want the best there is, I suggest trying our Asari Blue Whisky. It's highly expensive, and illegal in most worlds, but in this place, you can get it at a discount."

Axel smiles. "That sounds fantastic. I'll have that, bring it here post haste!"

The waitress shakes her head. "Not so fast sir, there's is a catch. Because of the nature of the drink, it is a difficult brand for us to resupply on, and we are constantly running out of it. As such, our policy is that anyone wishing to purchase the drink must first win it in a drinking competition."

Axel looks at her with a bewildered expression but decides to inquire. "A strange policy. I am intriqued, but what if no one else comes along?"

The waitress smiles. "Oh don't worry about that, we have regulars who ask for it all the time, one of which is here right now. If you must know, you get the drink if no one else orders in half an hour, and he has been waiting for about . . . Twenty-eight minutes."

Axel smiles. "Well, what are we waiting for!? Let's get this started!"

The waitress smiles and power-walks to the bar. In a few minutes, a table in the center of the room is cleared to which Axel gets escorted to. Some of the local patrons start buzzing with excitement as their favorite sport in the bar is about to begin. Some of them even begin to cheer.

As Axel waves at his new fans, his opponent walks up and sits down across from him. Axel brings his attention to his opponent and takes a good look at him.

With Krimsoun being a conquered orc world, Axel expected his opponent to be a lumbering eight-foot monstrosity to be challenging him. What he sees instead is a drunk priest. He has long, brown, shaggy hair and green, bloodshot eyes. His holy robes hang off of him loosely, but they do little to disguise his chunky body.

The priest takes a long drought out of a beer mug before addressing Axel. "You couldn't wait for three . . . three bloody more minutes could you?"

Axel smiles. "It's not my style to back down from a contest. Besides, this way I'll feel like I earned the drink."

The priest chuckles, "I can understand that".

A man walks up next to the priest, as he looks up, the priest's face lights up. "Ah, Rez Derbal! How are you doing?"

"It's Rex Derby, Father Laz, oh never mind you'll never get it right. So who's your latest victim?"

Rex Derby wears beige hunter gear complete with a pith helmet and a pair of brown boots. On his back is a highly decorated hunting rifle, and a pistol is holstered on his right leg. He reminds Axel of a cartoon villain he once saw.

"I'm Axel Grimm, and what makes you think I'm going to be a victim?"

Rex turns to Axel, wearing a smug grin that Axel found irritating. "I have never seen Laz lose to anyone. He is a sure bet to win every time."

Axel takes a gander at Laz who is wobbling in his seat to keep upright. "He looks like he's about to pass out before we even begin. You must think I'm some sort of lightweight to lose out to pastor sod over here."

"Heeeeeey. Don't make fun of me... It's a sin... I think."

Rex leans on his left foot. "Confident are we? Well then, care to make a wager with what little money you have before the game starts? You're allowed to bet on your success in this game, along with any peasant spectators on the floor. Keep in mind that it's against the rules to bet against yourself. If you're willing to bet on this contest, I'll match your low salary so you don't feel too bad about your low wealth."

Not one to be cowed by the likes of Rex, Axel reaches into his wallet and pulls out his money. What Rex didn't know was that Axel had just finished a lucrative job making a, possibly illegal, delivery on the planet. "Fine, I'll rise to your challenge. I'll bet six thousand gold dollars on me winning this match!" He slams his wad of cash on the table, drawing a few whistles from the crowd.

Rex still smirks. "So you do have a decent amount of money. Very well, I'll counter your bet and say Laz can out drink you even in his current state."

When Rex puts his money on the table, Laz reaches into his robes and brings out a bag of gold coins. "And I'll bet on myself as well!" Laz declares as he tosses the bag on top of the dollar bills, the sight of the bag astonishing both men.

Rex opens the bag and inspects one of the coins. "It's genuine . . . But why do you carry dollar coins instead of dollar bills? Also, where did you get all of this?"

Laz burbs as he replies, "It's harder to steal heavier objects, and the coins make a nice sound. As for where I got them . . . I don't remember."

Rex shrugs. "To each their own."

Axel's waitress collects the money and puts it into a bowl. Several other staff members place money into the bowl and hand her notes with the other gamblers' names and bets.

"Alright is everyone ready for tonight's entertainment?" Whoops, and hollers can be heard throughout the bar. She sets shot glasses down and pours whiskey into them. She slides the first glass to Axel as she yells "BEGIN!"

As time passes, Axel and Laz down shot after shot of alcohol. Axel manages to keep up with the priest, but he begins to understand Rex's confidence after the fourteenth shot. Despite his initial appearance, Laz has yet to show any sign of slowing down or passing out from the beverages. In fact, it seems that alcohol just didn't affect Laz at all.

But that wasn't going to deter Axel one bit. "I haven't spent nearly all of my life in Catachan just to be done in like some pansy. I'm going to keep going till he passes out!" He thinks to himself.

On the sixteenth shot, Laz reaches out for his next drink, but he slips and ends up accidentally palming one of the waitress's breasts. He pulls himself up immediately and musters out an apology. "I am so sorry ma'am. You know I would never intend to do that on . . . on purpose. I'm not the kind of guy who would pull sleazy shenanigans like that. I would at least ask first."

The waitress brushes him off saying it's fine, and the game continues with Laz finishing his drink. As Axel brings his next drink to his lips, an unexpected clamor to his right interrupts him. He turns around to see what is going on.

Disturbance Edit

A man in a suit is holding the arm of a woman who is demanding "Let go of me!". He is accompanied by a pair of cops and a small gang of well-suited men. He has medium, well brushed, blond hair and a pointed chin.

"What the Hell did I tell you bitch!? You thought you could break up with me, and skip town? Hell no! We aren't over until I say we are! Now come here!"

The woman struggles, not allowing herself to be taken away. "Fuck off! I'm not interested in you anymore!"

A few people, including the staff of the bar, try to intervene but are pushed away by the gang and the cops.

As the scene plays out, Erika mutters just loud enough for Nicole to hear her. "Is this some sort of joke?"

Nicole responds, "No this is a cliche. What the hell is going on with prince charming over there?"

Keeping her voice low, Erika talks. "Prince Charming is actually Jack Squaller. His uncle is this city's mayor, and his father is the senator of a section south of here. I'm supposed to go undercover tomorrow and use him to get close to the family and search for any signs of illegal activity."

Nicole turns to Erika, "You're kidding me".

"Have I ever joked about my missions?"

"Right... So what's the plan?"

Erika grasps her necklace's pearl with her index finger and thumb. "We need to get closer and find out where he intends to take her. I'll need you to tail her."

"Ah good, I'm hired."

"Only so long as you're useful. Let's pay for our drinks and go."

. . .

Axel sighs. "Well, this is dampening the mood. What a douche bag."

Rex scratches his neck. "Indeed. It doesn't help that he has a pair of cops to aid him in his dirty work. I wouldn't want to be in that girl's heels right now."

Laz pipes up. "Well of course not, you would look terrible in them."

The girl is steadily being dragged out of the bar by the unruly gang as she desperately screams for her abductors to stop. The sight appalls him. He certainly didn't feel like drinking anymore.

As his drunken mind contemplates this, a funny thought pops into his head. He chuckles.

"Hey . . . You guys still willing to make a bet?"

Laz: "Huh? What's that?"

Rex: "Hm?"

Axel gets up off of his chair. "I'm gonna change the bet. Here's what's going to happen; I'm going over there to save that girl, make her fall in love with me, and take her home to my bed for a night of love. If I do that, I'll take everything from this table."

As murmurs echo among the spectators, Rex laughs. "What? You can't change the bet! This game is here only for you to drink yourself into a stupor, and earn me some cash.

The waitress chimes in. "Sir please do not make a scene. We can't-"

Laz sloppily puts his hand on Rex's mouth. "Hey, hey, hey, hey, HEY! What's this about saving girls? Don't you think I can't seduce her?

Rex steps back. "Laz, you too? Are you kidding me? I mean . . . You're a priest for goodness sake!"

Laz hiccups. "Yeah, I'm a priest, not a eunuch! I'm changing my bet to me being the hero!"

Rex scoffs again. "You're both hopeless. Why would she go for either of you? Girls aren't interested in priests, or drunkards, they're interested in wealthy men such as myself!"

Both Laz and Axel look at Rex and say "Wanna bet?".

Rex rubs his chin. "Fine, I'll change my bet to me seducing her."

Wasting no time, Laz picks up his mug and downs the rest of its contents. "The game's afoot lads! To the winner goes the spoils!" He turns around and makes his way to the gangsters, with Axel and Laz right behind him. As Axel picks up his pace to match Laz, he notices that the priest wears a sword at his hip. "A battle priest, huh? At least he can fight." He thinks to himself.

Beat Bop Edit

Erika and Nicole were about halfway across the bar when the two competing drinkers, and another man, walk from the table in front of them, and towards the gang. They seemed to be an odd sort to Nicole. One is a heavily armed man in military gear. The one in the middle is a battle priest who seems to be staggering more than walking. The last man wore clothes more suited to hunting tigers in a jungle than in a bar.

A pair of the suited men see the incoming threat and move to intervene. One of them takes out a pistol and aims it at the priest. "Back off Father Chubs, unless you want to meet your creator tonight."

Before another word can be said, the soldier knocks the thug's gun to the side and delivers a mean right hook. The thug actually ends up flying back to his comrades and lands on the floor unconscious. His partner takes his gun out, but he is assaulted by the other two and ends up following his friend after the priest mugs him with a mug.

Shouting can be heard throughout the bar in alarm. Jack Squaller and his cronies halt and stare at the three men in shock. To Nicole's right, the jukebox turns on and starts blaring out jazz music.

With the initial shock gone. The gang and the cops start arming themselves with guns, batons, knives, brass knuckles and even baseball bats. The hunter takes out his rifle and knocks over a table to take cover behind while aiming his gun. The priest takes out his sword and offers a prayer to fill his blade with holy magic. Interestingly enough his mug also receives the blessing. The soldier unsheathes his knives and gets into a combat stance.

While everyone is arming themselves, Nicole is able to hear the song's lyrics coming out from the jukebox.

"I think it's time we blow this thing, get everybody to start together. Okay, three, two, one, let's jam!"

Chaos erupts as the two forces engage. Everyone not involved in the fighting either drops to the ground or start running away screaming as bullets start flying. Nicole and Erika also duck to avoid getting caught in the crossfire.

"Son of a bitch!" Nicole shouts. "Why the Hell did this happen?"

Erika grabs Nicole's left shoulder. "Stay focused soldier! Our target is getting away!"

Looking up, Nicole sees Jack's biggest henchman throwing the woman over his shoulder as he and Jack make for the exit.

Erika leads Nicole ahead. "Remember how we used to get around in enemy territory in Grok's training ground? Do that!" Erika then reaches inside her coat and brings out a sword hilt. Nodding Nicole brings out her own pistol.

Two of the gangsters see the incoming ladies and try to aim their weapons at the women. They are too slow, however, and their weapons get knocked out of their hands. While Nicole keeps her gun aimed at the head of one gangster, Erika activates her weapon. In a split second, violet energy erupts from the sword hilt, shaping itself into the likeness of a double-edged European long sword. Erika then brings the energy sword to the man's neck.

The two ladies force their hostages backward and to the side so that they were in between the men. They then run with the meat shields through the brawl. As they reach the other side, they throw the two men back into the fray and run out the door.

. . .

The rest of the grunts didn't take too well to their buddy being knocked flat by a single punch. The closest idiot to Axel tries to rush him with a bat, he ends up having deep cut across his torso. From there, Axel just kept attacking.

There were about thirteen targets on the enemy side prior to the fight. With his latest downed target, ten were left. one of the suits and a cop were shooting at Rex, who was actually doing a good job at returning fire. A suit with a butterfly knife and a cop with a police baton are heading towards Axel. Laz is taking on two other suits, one with a bat, another with brass knuckles. Axel sees the head monkey and his biggest thug running away, with the girl being carried by the big guy. He barely has time to process this before he sees another two suits flanking him.

Oddly enough they turn around at the last second and end up tussling with a mysterious pair that he couldn't quite get a glimpse of. These two suits end up running back as they were being pushed by the mystery duo.

Axel refocuses his attention to the two guys in front of him. The suit with the butterfly knife rushes him, trying to cut into his skin. Axel laughs as he deliberately takes a stab into his torso, his armor absorbing the blow easily. With his foe's weapon stuck in his armor, he cuts into his arm with his left knife and delivers a straight punch into his face. The guy wobbles on his feet before collapsing into unconsciousness.

Pulling his knife out of the guy's arm, Axel just manages to parry the cop's baton. Axel then rushes the cop with his knives, but the guy ends up blocking his assaults effectively. The cop ends up grabbing one of his arms and tossing him to the ground. Keeping a hold on Axel's arm, he harries him with his baton.

"Finally, someone with some skill!" Axel struggles to his feet, taking the cop's blows all the meanwhile. He stabs at the cop's arm, causing him to release his own arm. Bruised, with possibly a few new lumps on his heads, Axel circles the cop, searching for an opening.

He sees one of the suits Laz was fighting is knocked out and is missing some teeth. He manages to cut down his other opponent with his sword but has no respite as another suit swings a machete at him. Rex is still having a shootout with the other cop, while two other suits are rolling on the ground, bleeding.

Axel's opponent makes the first move, swinging his baton in quick strokes. Axel swings his knives, but the cop is too quick. Axel decides to change tactics and throws his off-hand knife at the cop. The blade ends up piercing the cop's shoulder, causing him flinch in pain. Axel seizes this opportunity immediately; grabbing the cop by the injured shoulder, he sticks his other knife in his left shoulder. With the cop howling in pain, he grabs both shoulders and headbutts the cop, knocking him out.

Even as the cop hits the floor, Laz and Rex end up taking out their opponents, ending the fight just as the music from the jukebox finishes. Laz cheers, "YEAAAAH! Who's up for round two!?"

Rex surveys the surroundings. "Where is the girl?"

Axel flinches, "Shoot, I almost forgot." He takes his knives out of the cop and runs towards the door.

A Brief Struggle Edit

With the grunts behind them, Erika and Nicole run out into the parking lot in pursuit of Jack Squaller. They see him almost immediately as his car is parked right in front of the entrance. "GET HER IN!" He yells at his underling.

The woman sees Erika and Nicole and reaches her hand out to them. "HELP ME, PLEASE!"

Jack and the grunt turn around and see the two armed women. Cursing under his breath, Jack tells the giant man to lower the woman to the ground. He takes out a pistol and aims it at the woman's head. "DROP THE WEAPONS AND GET THE HELL ON THE GROUND, OR SO HELP ME, I WILL END HER RIGHT HERE!!"

"Shit!" Nicole thinks to herself. This isn't how she imagined this going.

Erika calmly deactivates her weapon but doesn't put it down. She motions to Nicole to lower her gun and takes a step forward. "You misunderstand sir, we're not here to help her, we just wanted out of that crazy fight back there."

"Don't fuck with me! Who the Hell are you, people!?" He turns to the woman, "Who the Hell are your new friends?" The woman shakes her head. "I DON'T KNOW THEM!" Jack backhand slaps the woman. "STOP LYING!"

Erika interjects. "Hold on! Hold on!" She places her sword hilt on the floor and then shoves it to the side with her foot. Nicole follows suit with her pistol. "There. We're helpless. Can we go now?"

Jack grabs the woman's arm. "Hell no! Biggs, bring them over here, they're joining us!"

Despite their current predicament Nicole can't help but think, "Of course his name is Biggs."

Biggs brings out his own pistol walks towards Erika and Nicole. Jack meanwhile, starts to roughly shove the woman into the back seat of his car. Biggs gets behind the two and uses his gun to push Nicole's back. The three walk towards the car as Jack finally gets the woman into it.

Jack turns around and aims his gun at Erika, pointing it mere inches in front of her face. "Now you get in there."

In the blink of an eye, Erika grabs the gun out of Jack's hand. Jack immediately grabs for the gun, struggling with Erika for control. Biggs forgets about Nicole and aims his gun at Erika.

With the distraction taking the man's eyes off of her, Nicole kicks Biggs in the bend of his left leg, hard, causing him to fall to his knees. Reaching into her pants pocket, she brings out a small can of mace just as Biggs turns to face Nicole. She grabs his wrist and sprays his face with the mace. The man falls unto the floor screaming, dropping his pistol in the process.

After picking up Biggs's gun, Nicole turns around to see Erika pointing Jake's gun at him as he sits on the ground. Nicole smiles, "Why do I always seem to fight the giant people whenever we team up?"

"Because you need the extra training to toughen you up. Now bring me my sword."

"You could at least say please," Nicole states as she retrieves their weapons.

Furious, Jake shouts, "YOU BITCHES! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO YOU'RE FUCKING WITH!!?"

Erika doesn't even flinch. "A kidnapper."

Jake laughs. "YOU WHORE! MY FATHER OWNS THIS PLANET!! AND MY UNCLE OWNS THE COPS IN THIS SECTOR!!"

"Oh no, please God, save us all" Erika sarcastically replies.

"Your weapon, your highness," Nicole says as she bows over dramatically.

Without diverting her attention from Jake, Erika takes her weapon. "Good, now take the girl to your place."

Nicole is slightly shocked by this, but she remains composed. "Well I can do that, but what are you going to do? Stuff these guys into your trunk, because I think you'll need a lot of space for Biggs."

"Leave everything else to me. Depart at once."

Not one to have Erika repeat herself a third time, Nicole heads for the car and reaches for the woman's hand.

"Hi, there! I'm here to help you."

"Oh, sweet Jesus! Thank you!!"

"Um . . . no, wrong person, but you're welcome all the same. Now let's hurry, we got to get out of here!" Nicole gently grabs the woman's hand and leads her to her red car.

"Wa-wait! Where are we going!? I just want to go home!"

Nicole sighs and faces the woman. "That is not an option I'm afraid. These assholes tracked you down to this bar, and if that guy's uncle is really in charge of the police force, they'll more than likely be waiting for you at home. Your best option right now is to come to my place since they don't know who I am.

Furthermore, because of those idiots in the bar, the cops inside are sure to have called for backup. Every second we waist here is another second they get closer. So please follow me without a fuss so we can get out of here before they arrive."

The woman nods and follows Nicole into her car. With all the expertise of a street racer, Nicole peels out of the parking lot and drives away. In her rearview mirror, she sees the three men from earlier run out of the bar, only to stop in front of Erika, Jake, and Biggs who is still recovering from the mace.

"Erika, don't get yourself killed." She mutters under her breath.

Interrogation Edit

It has been two hours since the bar fight ended. Erika is currently sitting in a police interrogation room along with Axel, Rex, and Laz. All of their hands are in handcuffs behind their backs. The handcuffs wrap around the spaces in the chairs, preventing them from lifting their arms. Their possessions are spread out on the table along with several files. In front of them is the chief of police, Garrick Sloan, and Jake Squaller. Erika's face is bruised, and she has a black, left eye.

"What the Hell are we waiting for!? Let's kill these bastards, and get it over with!"

"Calm down Jake."

"Yeaaaah. Calm down Jake" Laz mocks.

Jake jerks to punch Laz but is stopped by Garrick. "Enough. Wait outside until we get this sorted out."

"Like Hell I am! I'm staying here until that bitch tells me where my girl is!"

"Then I suggest you calm down. We have everything under control."

The Interrogation room door opens, and a lean man looking almost like an older version of Jake enters. He closes the door and takes two steps to slap Jake in the face.

"What in God's name have you gotten yourself into this time, Jake? Your men are all in the hospital along with the two cops we assigned to bodyguard you, along with a few bystanders who got caught in the gunfire! Do you have any idea how bad this looks on the rest of us!?"

Jake eyes are filled with fear, but he still manages to talk back. "How dare you slap me! If father was here-"

"He would give you much worse than a simple slap! Mr. Sloan, what do you have on these scum?"

Sloan reaches for some files on the table and opens them. He walks from one end of the table to the other as he introduces the prisoners. "Well Mayor, we have everything on the men, but not much on the woman.

Father Laz is a local priest assigned here by the 'Order of the Torch'. He's supposed to be aiding the head priest at his church but has spent a considerable amount of time getting drunk at every bar in the area. He was armed with a beer mug and a Crusader's holy sword."

"I know . . . know, no other way to live!"

Sloan ignores Laz and continues. "Like I said earlier, we know almost nothing about this woman other than she knows the woman who made away with Miss Seres. What we do know is that she is armed with a high quality, European styled beam blade, and a high powered laser pistol, both of which are programmed to only operate in her hands. She has remained tight-lipped despite our efforts to get her to talk."

Erika speaks up. "I for one, neither appreciate this violation of my rights or the blatant police brutality I've been subjected to."

Before Jake can make another comment, Sloan continues talking. "Rex T. Derby is one of several competing heirs to the 'Derby Mining Company'. He has been planetside for several months hunting the local wildlife. He has made a small fortune in bringing in some of the most dangerous quarries with his high powered rifle.

Derby chuckles. "What can I say? Life is a game, and money is how we keep score. Now release me! Someone as rich as myself does not deserve to be sitting among penniless prisoners!"

Sloan walks over to the last man handcuffed to the table."As for this man, his name is Axel Grimm. He has been on this planet for only a few days, but in that time, he has had several confrontations with my police force. They had all been minor incidents, however, so we had to let him go. In addition his small arsenal on his person, he has several more firearms at his hotel, one of which is illegal."

"Yeah, well fuck you, Sloan!" Axel shouts.

Mayor Squaller questions Sloan. "Is there any connection between them?"

"None that we can discern. Aside from the woman, they seem to just be a band of idiots who fought Jake's guards for a bet."

Rex snorts. "A bet which I will never be able to collect because of her interference!"

Laz pipes up. "Oh yeah . . . Wouldn't that mean her friend gets the money? She made off with the girl after all."

Rex huffs out a sigh. "No, no, no. The bet was for one of the participants to save her from Jake, bring her to their home, and then have sex with her. Not only was she not part of the bet, but also, there's no way to know whether or not she completed the final step."

. . .

All three men turn to Erika.

Rex: "Is your friend a lesbian? You look like you could be one, but what about her?"

Axel: "If she is into girls, is she into threesomes?"

Laz: "Is she hot?"

Jake: "SHUT THE HELL UP!!"

Axel: "MAKE ME!"

Sloan walks around the table and slams Axel's head into it. His body goes slack as he loses consciousness. "I was getting tired of dealing with him."

With all the calm of the eye of a hurricane, Erika addresses her captors. "Mr. Squaller, as mayor of this city it is up to you to maintain order by the laws set by the Unified Azures Treaty, how is it that you can flippantly disregard these rights?

Your nephew has attempted to kidnap a woman in an ungentlemanlike manner. He then attempted to kidnap my friend and myself when we tried to flee the fight his cronies, and these idiots caused. Then after being arrested under false pretenses, Sloan's men used me as a punching bag to find out where my friend is."

Mayor Squaller didn't hesitate to reply. "You know nothing of this world, whore. The Azures Treaty does not apply here. On this planet, what the Squaller family says, goes. There is no other law here other than ours."

Much to Squaller's bewilderment, Erika didn't balk. "That is a lie. You still answer to the Damos family back in Jika, who is in charge of overseeing this world's affairs. That power was granted to them by the Azures homeworld, making them your superior.

Jake laughs. "The Damos family? Those winged fools can fly into a volcano straight into Hell! They are so concerned with their own affairs that they don't care what happens in this world!"

The mayor speaks up. "It is as my nephew says. Now you have a decision to make, young lady. If you cooperate with us, you'll serve the rest of your life in this prison, and nothing you'll do or say will change that. On the other hand, if you refuse . . ." He licks his lips, "You will serve under me as one of my drugged up slaves. As a slave, you will do everything I demand, and I do mean everything."

Laz speaks up, "Isn't slavery outlawed among the human owned planets? And what about us?"

Sloan responds. "You will all be tortured and killed."

"You can't do that to me! My family will personally investigate my death!" Rex claims.

"And they will be turned away by us. It's not hard to cover this up."

The door opens, and a young cop motions for Sloan. His face is a mask of fear. "Sir we have a situation here."

"Take care of it, I am busy."

The young man's voice cracks. "Sir, we really need you back here!"

With a groan, Sloan leaves the room, leaving the door open.

The mayor sighs. "Well no matter, we don't need him here anymore. So young lady, what will it be?"

Before he can continue, one of the phones on the table vibrates.

"That would be mine," Erika states casually.

Jake's face lights up. "It's her! It's got to be her friend!"

The mayor picks up the phone. "Now is your chance woman, you'll either hand her to us or your body to me, make your choice. and as for the rest of you, I suggest that you'll be as silent as possible unless you want your nethers crushed under a rock." He presses the answer button on the phone and proceeds to put it on speaker.

For one brief moment, silence fills the room. A silence that is broken by an older, feminine voice on the other line of the phone. "Well, well. This didn't go quite the way I thought it would, but you have done well Erika. Consider your training complete."

Erika smiles. "Why thank you, Grandma. Am I allowed to take leave now?"

"Once you've finished up here, you can do whatever you want. You've earned it."

A clicking sound fills the air, Erika raises her hands from behind her, free of her cuffs. In one of her hands, she holds a beautiful white feather.

"What, what the devil?" The mayor states. Rex and Laz stare at Erika in awe.

The phone speaks again. "Mr. Squaller, from one person of authority to another, you should have had your men on alert to conduct a far more thorough search of your captives before bringing them to your prisons. Sadly, you and the rest of your nest of rats have grown far too complacent to even manage this simple task: Not that you'll ever have the opportunity to correct that mistake."

Jake slams his hands on the table. "You threatening us hag!? Who the Hell are you!?"

From the direction of the open door, everyone hears a shout. "WHERE IS MY NIECE!!? WHERE HAVE YOU TAKEN MY NICKY!!?

The Grandmother speaks, "Oh I do apologize for Grok, as soon as he heard the news, the muscle head went straight to your location without all the details. It seems he thinks the young Zachary is with you. That being said, I trust you can take control of the situation from here Erika." The phone turns off.

Squaller's face is red with anger and heavy with sweat. "What the devil was that all about? ANSWER ME!!"

Erika looks directly at the mayor. "It means you're through, and it's my turn to monologue. This necklace you see on the table is mine. The black orb contains a camera that monitors what I see and contains GPS coordinates of my location. This information is shared with my Grandma's agents who are in charge of making sure nothing happens to me. She knows everything you've said and done ever since you've entered this room.

The Squallers' eyes stare blankly at Erika as they take in the information.

And one more thing . . . " Erika takes off her coat, revealing gorgeous white wings. All the men in the room gasp in surprise. " . . . My name is Erika Elberta Damos Von Jika. For breaking the trust of the people you have been in charge of; For breaking the trust of those who assigned you your post; For violating the laws held sacred by the forefathers of the Azures alliance; AND for threatening the daughter of the man you serve with slavery, you will live the rest of your accursed lives behind the bars of one of our prison worlds, and be executed by the end of your sentence!!

Your cries for leniency will not be heard in light of your wickedness!!

THIS I DECREE!!!"

A New Job Edit

Axel Grimm wakes up to a splitting headache. He groans as he rises from a bed, undoing the sheets he was sleeping in. As he opens his heavy eyelids, he takes in his surroundings. He isn't back at the hotel. This seems to be a small room with a bathroom off to the side. Next to his bed is a nightstand with a cup of water which he drinks heartily.

Where is he? He tries to remember what he did the previous night.

He recalls going to jail . . . And getting his head smacked into a table . . . But this definitely isn't a jail cell, so where is he?

He still has his under armor pants on, but the rest of his gear, including the stuff from his hotel room, is piled neatly on a desk on the far wall. He puts on his boots and shirt and leaves the room.

"Ah, you're awake!" A woman's voice exclaims. Axel turns around and sees a woman with a ponytail in sweatpants and a tank top stained with sweat. She's breathing hard, trying to catch her breath. "Nice to see you up and about!"

"Despite his hangover, he smiles and straightens his posture. "Why hello there. Do you mind telling me where I am?"

"You're currently on board the wonderful frigate known as 'The Homestead', which is in orbit around Krimsoun. I'm Nicole Zachary, and my father is in charge of this ship."

With his hangover hampering him, Axel could barely follow what Nicole was saying. Several questions came to mind, but only one passed his lips.

"Okay . . . Why am I on board a ship?"

"Oh, that's a long story, but the shortest version ever is, we got you out jail, and brought you up here. If you'll follow me to the mess hall, I'll happily tell you more. What's more, I'll bring you to my dad so you can discuss what you want to do before we take off."

The offer brings a smile to Axel's face. He leans on the wall with his arm. "That sounds like a good idea, but before I meet him, can we talk about what we can do together after breakfast?"

Someone behind him shouts, "THAT'S MY DAUGHTER YOU ASSWIPE!!" Axel turns around and receives a blow to his face.

"DAD!! You didn't have to do that!"

"Of course I had to.

Now you better get something to eat soon, breakfast isn't going to be served for much longer." With that, Nicole's dad left.

It takes a minute for Axel to open his eyes again. "Your dad is an asshole!"

"I like to think of it as being overprotective."

She reaches out a hand to Axel.

"The offer for breakfast still stands you know."

Axel sighs and contemplates his situation. After a few seconds, he smiles and grabs Nicole's hand.

"Sure, I'll join ya, what do you have to eat around here?"

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