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T.I. S2 E21: Hunters And The Hunted (FB)
A freebuild and part 1 of my Season 2 finale.
About this creation

03 January, 2098
The Miriada Crater

The winds of Iapra whipped about the man with an ever-changing force. On his left, the heat burned and blistered his skin, coming in waves of pure fire. The sand was soft beneath his boot, but loose and unbound. A trillion individuals who just happened to reside next to each other.

On his right, the chill winds attacked him with daggers of ice. A few chunks of snow bounced of his arm, but it was mostly the breeze that cut though him. The snow underneath his boot was thick and icy. A trillion parts of the same collective whole, though each unique from each other.

Two sides. Two distinct variations in living. One, the unbound nature of those that thought of themselves as individuals, but were lost in the sheer number of likeminded people. The other, the conforming nature of those who merely wanted to blend into the masses, unaware of what made them stand out. The extroverted and the introverted. The outspoken and the quiet. The light and the dark. Total opposites.

The Dragon stood between them, accepting the harshness of both.

His eyes darted between the two extremes, his knuckles tightening on the blades in his hands. One was made of gleaming steel, the other of the darkest metal.

Before him, the ground cracked and grumbled as beams of shadow split sand and snow alike. Once the holes were wide enough, figures of pure shadow crawled out of the ground, one on either side of the planet. Each vaguely resembled a person, but there was no detail, only wisps of darkness that streamed from their jet-black skin.

Both of the beings screamed in anger as they darted for him, another pair already crawling through the holes the figures had left behind.

The Dragon did not think as they rushed him. He merely acted.

The blades spun as his wrists moved, slicing through the beings before they had even touched him.

The second pair fared little better, though he did have to avoid one of their strikes before attacking. As soon as they died, they dissipated into clouds of shadow, little more than forgotten thoughts.

The Dragon moved like a wind, his natural senses bombarded as he constantly shifted between blazing heat and blistering cold. It was uncommon to find a place on Iapra were the climate split almost perfectly. Most of the planet had a temperate zone that gradually eased into either extreme.

Such a thing was common. Such a thing was normal.

The Miriada Crater wasn’t normal. Neither was the Dragon.

Another shadow creature died and vanished as Hikari split its torso from shoulder to hip. In his other hand, Dāku slashed sideways and cleaved the legs of another being, the dark blade seeming to revel in the pain.

A harsh gust swept from the cold and slammed into the Dragon, forcing him to cover his eyes. Another creature leapt at him, taking the opportunity to strike. But the Dragon’s reaction was instant, and he whipped Hikari around to intercept.

The creature died, but more were coming.

The Dragon stepped backwards gently, feeling the shift as he entered the desert. The harsh wind kept coming, but was warmed almost instantly as it swept through the heat-covered part of the planet. The beings didn’t notice the change as they ran forward. They never did.

It was no matter. After so long, the Dragon paid it little heed himself. He merely dealt with it.

Another strike, another slash, another duck, another stab. It was an endless cycle with infinite possibilities, but only two outcomes. The Dragon would either win or he would die. That was it.

He buried Dāku from tip to hilt in one being, dodging to the side as another rushed forward. It died quickly, vanishing a second later. But still, there were more clawing their way to the surface. There were always more.

The Dragon stepped back, his blades firm in his grip as even more creatures made their way from the ground. The sand seemed to shift aside, the snow seemed to crumble, but the creatures hauled themselves up regardless. Slowly, they pulled into each other, becoming a single being of black, shadowy wrongness.

A never-ending tide, a wave of darkness that would never cease, no matter what the worlds of the galaxy tried to do.

And then it was coming for him, a storm of men, shadow and death that would keep coming and killing and destroying and ending anything in its way. The Dragon raised his blades, ready for the onslaught. But the tide was ceaseless, and infinite and-

Voice: “Rho!”

The Dragon blinked, and the figure was gone, replaced with the two extremes at either side of him. He turned, taking in the woman walking to his side. She wore simple clothing, loose enough to be changed quickly when going between the heat and the chill.

Her brunette hair hung in a ponytail, flowing down her back. Her eyes sparkled with clarity, and her dark skin gleamed with sweat after walking through the heat. A dagger was strapped on her hip; only a fool would walk around Iapra without weapons on hand.

She spoke again, a voice of light and dark at the same time. Ebony and ivory, smothered with an Indian accent. It was a nice voice, the Dragon realised.

A voice that meant home.

Woman: “Rho. Come back. It’s hot. It’s cold. And I miss you.”

The Dragon paused to consider. This woman missed him? No, she missed Rho.

But Rho was gone, wasn’t he? Or was it the Dragon that was gone? No…no, the Dragon was here now. The Dragon was all there had been, and always would be.

Woman: “Rho. Come back. It’s hot. It’s cold. And I miss you.”

Again, she missed him, but why?

The Dragon didn’t even know her. This woman…yes, she had the voice of home, the voice of peace, but he did not care about it. No…

It was only Rho that cared, and it was Rho who remembered, and it was Rho who was missed, and Rho who worried and Rho who loved…

Rho gasped as he shoved the Dragon back into its slumbering cave deep within him, his swords slipping from his fingers. Instantly, Aanya was there, pulling him close, gripping his hands. She was tall, but he still towered over her.

Her hand instantly went to the scar on his face, the enormous burn that’d birthed the Dragon, all those years ago. It still seemed to lie there, sleeping beneath the scar, content until he let it rise to the surface again.

Aanya: “You good?”
Rho: “I am.”

It was always when he spoke that Rho’s thoughts fully clicked into place. The Dragon didn’t speak. It may have grunted, but it didn’t speak. However, the instant that his deep voice broke the air, the voice edged with a small growl and accented with Japanese, he knew he was back.

Aanya: “When are you going to get over that?”
Rho: “The moment I do not need its help any longer.”
Aanya: “Why do you keep fighting like this Rho? Can’t you let it go? It was almost five hours this time.”
Rho: “Aanya, I still need it. Not for much longer, but I do.”

Aanya: “Well, whatever you say. So long as I’ve got at least another hour with you.”
Rho: “Will an hour be enough?”

She gave him a wicked grin as they began to walk back, Rho picking up and replacing his swords into the sheaths on his back, carefully angling the blades to accept the odd angle.

Aanya: “Enough? Nah. Not for what I’ve got in mind.”

11 January, 2098
The Haven, Regentis

Dustin grinned as he ducked under Risa’s swing, weaving out of her way like an insect in a breeze. Risa didn’t hesitate in her retaliation, sending a punch his way, forcing him to cover up.

They’d been training more intensely for the past few weeks, if only to keep their bodies and minds active. After the whole Tracks, or rather One, debacle, both of them had been slammed with the reality of their situation. It’d been, what, almost a year and a half since Uek had branded them both criminals, effectively ruining their chances at stopping him.

But now something had changed. Dustin felt it in his heart, a comfortable warmth of confidence that things would get better. Now was the time to do better, it was the time to fight back.

They’d waited long enough.

Risa met his eyes and spun a kick outward, smacking against his guard. He grunted, but she was already there, forcing him to keep up the defensive. She was good now, really good. But still, she had a while to go yet.

In a flurry of movement, Dustin gripped her wrist and swept her legs, bringing her to the floor. He knew it was where she was the least comfortable, fighting without a stance, without balance. She struggled for a moment, but eventually tapped his arm, ending the session.

Dustin grinned as she pulled herself up, stretching her arms as she straightened. Her muscles were a lot more toned than they had been even a few months ago, when they’d been running from Wheatview’s finest. But now, after proper nourishment and training, her arms were corded, muscular, strong…

Risa: “Finished staring?”

Dustin blinked, realising he’d let his gaze linger a tad to long. He raised his gaze to Risa’s face. She smiled, that soft smile he’d coaxed out of her after their time together. It really suited her.

Dustin: “Figured I may as well inspect the fruits of my labour.”
Risa: “Your labour? You already know all this stuff. I’m the one who’s labouring.”
Dustin: “Yeah, but I’m the one teaching you. That’s enough as it is.”

Risa: “Really? That’s all you’ve got to say?”
Dustin: “Well, I could say your groundwork would make a toddler embarrassed, and you’re still holding back your punches.”
Risa: “Yeah, I know. Your face distracts me.”
Dustin: “Too beautiful to hit, I know.”
Risa: “No. Too ugly. I wouldn’t want to ruin it any further.”

Dustin’s smile widened as he stepped round her and walked up into the Haven. Behind him, the early morning sunrise peaked its head above the horizon.

Dustin: “So, breakfast?”
Risa: “…well, it tends to be a good idea.”
Dustin: “Indeed. And where would we like our ‘good idea’ this morning?”
Risa: “Huno’s.”
Dustin: “Huno’s?”

She smiled at him, almost as if it’d been a dumb question.

Risa: “Yeah. Best smoothies this side of Qoter.”
Dustin: “Right, sounds good. I call dibs on the first shower, by the way.”
Risa: “Aw…all that hard labour worn you out?”
Dustin: “My body is screaming in agony Risa! Have you no pity?”
Risa: “Not when my body’s screaming even louder.”

She grinned again and Dustin shook his head, shutting the Haven’s door with the hiss of hydraulic gas.

11 January, 2098

Tomas walked the streets of Regentis for what had to be the millionth time. He was sure it’d been that many at least, given his quiet distance for the capital within the city. All that time to track them to Wheatview, and now they were back here, chasing ghosts.

As always, Grim and Bones walked without a care in the world, ignoring the glances and fearful eyes that were flung their way by passer’s by. They chatted amongst themselves, but Tomas paid them little heed. Once they felt he needed to be included, he would be.

Eventually, Grim stopped in the middle of the walkway and stepped under the outcrop of a building. He briefly examined his datapad, talking to Bones in a hushed whisper. Bones nodded several times, then glanced at Tomas, an invitation in his masked eyes.

Tomas marched up to the pair, a question on his lips instantly.

Tomas: “What is it?”
Bones: “Some good news! And about time too…”
Grim: “They’re close. The cameras around the shuttle field picked them up an hour ago.”
Tomas: “And the authorities?”
Grim: “The authorities don’t know what they’re looking for. We do.”

A low smile broke on Tomas’s face, the only outward sign of happiness he’d show for the day. But inside, it was like the sweetest release he’d ever felt. Donovan and Michaels. Both of them were close, so very very close. They’d spent the past month in Regentis, going from shuttle park to shuttle park, painstakingly analysing the security cameras for the slightest glimpse of the fugitives.

So far, they’d found nothing. But finally their efforts had paid off.

Tomas: “Alright! Well, where are they headed?”

Grim flicked through various camera views and angles, searching for the pair as they strolled around the capital. He paused for a moment then spoke again, his voice sounding almost relieved. Almost.

Grim: “They’ve just gone into a restaurant. Somewhere called Huno’s. Any of you know it?”
Bones: “Yep, though calling it a restaurant is a bit of an oversell.”
Tomas: “How far?”
Grim: “Ten minutes, give or take.”
Tomas: “Alright, good. Let’s go.”

Grim, for once, nodded in agreement and pocketed his datapad. He paused for one moment to adjust the scythe on his back before re-joining the crowd, leading the way. Bones stepped up to him and Tomas trailed behind.

For once, the distance between him and the duo didn’t annoy him. How could he be annoyed when Risa Donovan, the woman that had killed his brother, was finally within his grasp?

He tapped the pistol beneath his clothing. It almost seemed to whisper to him, craving the same thing he did.


Ten minutes later.
Huno’s Take-Away, Regentis.

Risa sighed to herself as she took a long sip from the smoothie in her hand, savouring the chill it gave her throat. She was tired and sore, but in the best possible way. She’d really pushed herself this morning, but looking at Dustin gave her some satisfaction. She’d made him work for his victory today.

Dustin: “Worth it?”
Risa: “Definitely!”

Dustin smiled, his eyes catching the light as he raised his head. He was looking good, especially after their months of training and proper diet after Wheatview. Still, he’d never exactly looked bad either. Even after the Skarr.

Dustin: “So, what’s the plan for today?”

She held up her finger as she took another sip, taking a moment to enjoy the drink before replying.

Risa: “Not sure. No more luck with tracking Uek’s finances?”
Dustin: “Nah, though can’t say I didn’t try. The server’s locked in a way only Uek can manage. Still though, I’m no Con. Perhaps if we-”
Risa: “Sorry, who?”
Dustin: “Con? Oh, sorry. A Core agent. Real whiz with computers, though she…lost her life during Firelight.”
Risa: “I’m…sorry, though I wish you’d tell me what that even is.”

A look flashed over Dustin’s face, something like pain, or perhaps fear. Immediately, she regretted her choice of words.

Risa: “Oh…sorry. Forget I asked.”
Dustin: “No, it’s ok. Just hurts. Think of it like your own past, something you’d rather forget...”

Memories flashed behind her eyes, followed closely by the aching sensation of wounds that would never heal. She grimaced, but nodded in appreciation. She trusted Dustin completely, she had for months now. They we the same, after all, two killers under Uek’s thumb.

So why hadn’t she told him? Why couldn’t she bring herself to tell him? Logically, it made no sense.

But still, she kept quiet.

Dustin: “Hey, I’m not holding it against you. Trust me on that. When you’re ready, my ears will be waiting. But Firelight…well…it’s not easy to talk about.”
Risa: “It’s fine Dustin, honestly. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

Dustin: “Yeah…but still. You should know what happened. You deserve to know.”
Risa: “Dustin, it’s ok. We’ll talk later. I don’t want to push you either. I’ll be ready and waiting, same as you.”
Dustin: “…Thank you, Risa. That…means a lot. Still, maybe you’re right. I’ve kept most of the story from you for a while now, so it’s only fair that I…”

Dustin trailed off as his eyes slipped to the side of Risa’s head, staring out of the restaurant window. He squinted briefly, as if confirming something, before standing abruptly, to the surprise of the other patrons. When he spoke, his voice seemed hollow, and…wrong.

Was that…fear?

Dustin: “We need to go. Now.”
Risa: “What is it?”
Dustin: “If it’s who I think, nothing good. We’re leaving.”

She didn’t argue as they marched out of the restaurant. Subconsciously, she checked one of the holsters strapped to her side, feeling the comfortable weight of her pistols there. The street wasn’t busy, but there was enough of a crowd to get lost in.

Which was good. If something that even Dustin was afraid of was trailing them, she wanted as many advantages as possible.

They strolled through the crowd quickly but without making a scene, as if nothing was wrong or out of the ordinary. Slowly, Risa moved her eyes around the crowd, occasionally glancing in windows or reflections to see behind her. But she needed a target.

Risa: “Dustin, what am I looking for?”
Dustin: “A man in a suit, dark helmet, wearing a cloak. He might have a scythe on his back, but it’ll probably be folded away. He does that when he’s trailing people.”
Risa: “Wait…Seriously?”
Dustin: “Grim always did like his theme.”

She filed away the name, gulping slightly as she did. They weaved around the crowds and once they'd past one group, Risa risked a glance backwards.


She only caught a glimpse before he disappeared behind a pair of tourists, but it had been enough. He had been tall, clad in black, with a mask that gave away nothing. No visible weapons though.

Risa: “About ten metres behind, no scythe. Dustin...who is he?”

Dustin met her gaze, his eyes like iron, his scowl set in stone, his skin paler than she’d ever seen it. It was such an un-Dustin look that she almost halted in her tracks. She felt the hairs on the back of her neck go rigid. Whoever this man was, it wasn’t good.

After a moment, Dustin spoke, his voice low, so that only Risa could hear him. But even without the volume, she could pick up on the worry behind the firm tone.

Dustin: “The Core didn’t really have rankings Risa. Obviously, there was the experience barrier, but technically no active agent was ranked higher than any other. There was only one squad that were the exception..."

"Alpha 1.”

Risa: “Ok? Seems a bit high and mighty…”
Dustin: “No, it’s not. There were seven of them, the deadliest warriors the Core had ever known, almost legendary. Remember that Taze woman we heard about ages ago?”

Risa: “Yeah?”

Dustin: “I’m pretty sure she was one of them. That man behind us though…I know he was. Went by the name of Grim. He specialised in tracking targets… and being too effective for his own good.”
Risa: “But…surely we can do something-”

Dustin: “We can. We run. We get away. If we fight that man, we die. You’ve seen me fight, you know the level I’m at?”
Risa: “Yeah…Wait, what are you saying?”

Dustin: “Multiply me by a hundred and throw away the conscience. Then we’ll be on the same page.”

It was like being slapped in the face. Not only by the words, but the way Dustin had said them. No uncertainty, no doubt. He said them like facts, and without even a hint of the smile and humour that seemed to make up the cornerstone of his personality.

Risa gulped, her stomach slowly making its way to her toes. If Dustin, who had taken on Collective mages and maniacal droids, was afraid to fight this man…

…what chance did she have?

Risa: “Alright… Well, we’d better hurry up then.”

Dustin sighed, almost in relief, and together they weaved through the crowd, their footsteps quick and solid. The shuttle yard loomed ahead, gate open and waiting. The Haven seemed to beckon closer, like a mother calling for her children. It offered safety, and hope and home.

And most importantly, it offered escape.

Someone stepped out from a building in front of them, a wisp of darkness capped in gleaming bone. The skull the man wore seemed to grin as he saw them.

Dustin halted immediately, eyes going wide. In a flash, he’d grabbed Risa’s arm and hauled her down a nearby alleyway. Her pistols were in her hands instantly, seemingly of their own accord. It’d been awhile since she’d shot them, but they still felt right, sitting comfortably within clenched fingers.

She and Dustin cursed almost at the same time as they realised the alley was a dead end. Stupid mistake. The two trackers had herded them into a corner. Immediately, Risa’s mind flashed back to Uek’s mansion, being trapped in that tiny cell with nowhere to go.

But this time was different. She had a chance here, a chance to fight back. She raised her pistols as the two men turned into the alleyway and strolled down without a care in the world. Like they owned the place.

The one Dustin had called Grim reached underneath his cape of shredded material and withdrew a chunk of folded metal. He pressed a button somewhere on the device, causing the device to twist and bend to what appeared to be its normal shape. A scythe.

Death personified.

The other man didn’t pull out anything, but he did hold his hands in an odd way, a fist with the middle finger extending further than the others. Dustin had taught her about that, a position ideal for pressure-point combat.

She raised her pistols higher.

Risa: “That’s far enough!”

The pair haltered, a solid four metres from Dustin and Risa. The one with the skull for a face cocked his head slightly, as if examining the pair. Finally, he spoke, his voice somewhat light-hearted, but carrying an edge that crept up Risa’s spine.

Bones: “Risa Donovan. Ted Michaels. Damn, but you guys were hard to find.”
Dustin: “Glad we made your hunt interesting, Bones.”

The one called Bones straightened slightly, as if hearing his own name had surprised him.

Bones: “Huh. Well informed, I take it. I’m guessing you know Grim then?”
Risa: “Say what you want quickly, before things go south.”

Grim: “To the point then? Good. There are two ways this will go down. Option one, surrender peacefully and come with us. Option two, fight and die.”
Bones: “I’d go with the first, if I were you. Grim can get pretty angsty if people ignore him.”

Dustin stepped forward, his hands at his sides, his stance firm but…wrong. Her eyes widened as she took in the way he held himself. Too rigid, too tense to be effective in a fight…Why?

As if speaking to the wind, he whispered, his voice barely reaching Risa’s ears.

Dustin: “When I move, I want you to run.”

She stared at him, confusion blossoming in her eyes, but he spoke before she could argue.

Dustin: “Guns won’t help you here, their clothes'll be armoured. I’ll be able to buy some time, but you’ll die. I…I can’t let that happen. I can’t watch my partner die, not again. Go. I’ll meet up with you later.”

A quiver shot through Risa as she glanced back to the two hunters, eyeing their prey with hungry hidden eyes. Dustin stood, his stance off, not…

Not showing them a hint of what he was capable of. He wanted them off guard for as long as possible, unaware of the skill he possessed.

And he was going to fight them.


Risa couldn’t let that happen, she couldn’t!

Risa: “Dustin, I’m not leaving-”
Dustin: “Please Risa… Please… I’ll get out of this and…I’ll find you. I promise.”

A promise.

It had been a long time since Risa had heard those words said so sincerely, carrying the weight of planets behind them. Dustin…he’d made up his mind. She glanced back at the hunters. As good as she’d become, they would destroy her.

But Dustin…he might have a chance….no, he would have a chance. He’d said as much… and if she got away, she could bring support. The Haven was fuelled and ready…she could make it…

Damn it. Things were moving too fast…too fast…

Risa: “Ok, Dustin…alright…but I’ll be back! I’ll bring help.”
Dustin: “Ha…guess I’ll have to take that...”

He was cut off as Bones stepped up, voice echoing down the alley.

Bones: “That’s enough blabbering. Come on, we haven’t got all day. What’ll it be?”
Dustin: “Simple. Option t-”

Before he’d finished, Dustin moved….

…and Risa moved with him.

Dustin leapt forward in a blur of motion, closing the gap in a fraction of a second. Grim and Bones reacted instantly, stepping aside as he lunged between them. Grim’s scythe was already coming for him, swung low.

But then Risa was there, leaping over the blade and through the gap that Dustin had created. She had time for one last look, one last glimpse back at the man who’d been by her side for almost two years now.

He was smiling. Even though two monsters in the shape of men were facing him down, the moron was smiling…

And all of a sudden, she had a million things she wanted to say to him. All of a sudden, she wanted to tell him of her past, wanted to spend a thousand more nights in the Haven with him as he slumbered on the floor, having given her the bed every single time.

She wanted more mornings where he pushed her to her limits, training her, honing her, until she was every bit the weapon he was. A weapon of battle, but built to protect.

All of a sudden, she realised that this might be the last time she saw him. Why had they wasted this morning eating junk food? Why hadn’t they been talking, exchanging all the unsaid words? Why? WHY?

But…but the last thing he’d said beat the doubts down. He’d promised to find her again. He’d survive. He’d escape.

He had to. And he had given her a chance.

So, with a grimace, she dashed down the alley and into the crowded street again. If she could fly the Haven over, rain down some cover fire, they could escape.


Dustin Vorn sighed in relief as Risa bolted away, quick as the wind. He stepped back and took his stance properly this time, his hands raised and ready. In front of him, Grim and Bones stood like statues, analysing the scene.

How stupid was he, trying to face not one, but two members of Alpha 1? It was a death sentence. Already his body was betraying him, his skin slick with sweat, his stomach churning with fear. His heart was pounding at a ridiculous speed, like it was going to break its way out of his chest, cursing him for his stupidity.

But he’d do it again if it meant giving Risa a chance to escape.

Damn it…he was sounding exactly like Brom had…right before he died.

Seemed appropriate.

Bones: “Well…damn.”
Grim: “One’s better than none. And she won’t have gone far. Let’s end this quickly.”
Bones: “Agreed. Any last words, Mr Michaels?”

Michaels. No, that wasn’t his name. It never had been.

Dustin: “Yeah Bones. The name’s Dustin Vorn. May as well die as me.”

Bones froze.

Grim may have done the same, but he was always so still that it was impossible to tell. Dustin gulped as the pair stared at him, immobile, immovable. But every second he gave Risa increased her chance of getting to the Haven, getting to safety. She’d come back, he knew she would.

Even if she’d be too late to save him.

The pair will still unmoving, so Dustin spoke again, quieter this time.

Dustin: “Huh, thought you might’ve heard of me. I mean, I was pretty young back then, and you guys were blooming legends. Grim and Bones, Alpha 1. The Reaper and the Skeleton. The Heads of Death. They said no one could face you and live…

Dustin: “But now…you’re like two idiots on Halloween. So, come on! Compared to the demon’s I’ve had to live with, you guys are nothing!”

Finally, Grim stepped forward, his massive scythe swinging gently with ever step. He met Dustin’s eyes, and Dustin could swear he saw the expression behind the helmet of deepest black.

Complete contempt.

The man spoke, voice low even without the modulator, but the words cut far deeper than any Dustin had heard before.

Grim: “I don’t know where you heard that name, but Dustin Vorn is dead. And you, Ted Michaels, have trampled on a good man’s grave. I cannot forgive you for that.”

And with that Grim moved, faster than even Dustin could react to, faster than a starship, faster than light itself. Dustin backed up, forcing his instincts to take over. There was no way his mind would be able to win this, but his body, his training…

But the scythe was so close, descending like a sliver of moonlight.

One last though flashed through his head. One last memory before the blade descended to bury itself in his neck.

The first time he’d seen Risa smile.


Risa scowled as she launched herself down the sidewalk, scattering pedestrians as she went. She ignored the cries as some passers-by glimpsed her guns, held firm as she sprinted. She probably should’ve put them away, but she didn’t want to waste any more time.

Dustin was fighting for his life. The least she could do was risk her own safety.

Ahead, the shuttle park grew closer, barely fifty metres away now. Inside, the Haven lay waiting. If she could just get there in time, get moving as quickly as possible, she could save Dustin.

No. Not could. She had to save him. Not just for his own sake, but for hers as well.

She needed him…


Risa staggered backwards, her mind spinning as it tried to work out what had just happened. Her eyes snapped open, taking a moment to process that she’d been shoved.

A man stood there, a pistol levelled at her. The sheer coincidence probably meant he was working with the assassins she’d left behind. She didn’t recognise him, but the look she saw in his eyes was enough.

This man… he was going to kill her.

And if he did, Dustin was dead.

Her instincts reacted instantly. The countless hours spent with Dustin forced her body into action, her muscles a fine-tuned machine, ready for anything. She flung herself to the side as the man fired, the bullet cracking into the pavement as she moved.

Ringing filled her ears, but she pushed through it as she leapt to her feet, her pistols held in a white-knuckled grip.

All around her, the crowd scattered as screams filled the street. The man cursed and spun his weapon back towards her, but Risa was too quick. Already, she’d raised her own pistols and fired.

Each bullet hurtled through the air, smacking into the man’s shoulders.

He yelped and stumbled back, but there was no blood. Body armour, like Dustin had said. Bullets wouldn’t stop him… but they would hurt, and they’d buy her time. That was all she needed right now

Before he could raise his own gun, she’d fired three more times, the bullets ringing as they struck his armour. She aimed for the weak spots, her aim sure and true. She couldn’t afford to waste any more time.

Her bullets hit their targets. One clanged against his ribcage, one hit his kneecap and the other slammed into his arm. None revealed any blood, but all three left the man reeling in surprise and pain. He cursed again as he fell back, his gun dropping to his side.

It was enough. Risa spun and dashed away, closing the gap toward the Haven. She didn’t need to keep fighting, she only needed to keep him distracted.

A few more metres, that was all it was. She was almost there…almost…there…


 I like it 
  March 19, 2018
Very Nice episode, I especially liked the fight scene.
 I like it 
  March 18, 2018
Fantastic as usual! Nice to get some back story on Grim and Bones and teasing us with almost explaining what Firelight was - that was cruel. Haha! I look forward to part 2! Full points! --Blast--
 I made it 
  March 18, 2018
Quoting Clayton Marchetti Dang it I knew you were going to leave us hanging. Wow! What an amazing episode! You should seriously consider putting all these episodes into a book. It would make an awesome series.
Cheers Clayton, glad you enjoyed it! And I won't leave you hanging too long, I promise. As for the book side of it, already underway my friend, but thank you for the suggestion regardless :D
 I made it 
  March 18, 2018
Quoting Stop Fox Entertainment Very nice. I love Grim. He is such a good character!
Thanks! He certainly enjoy writing for him.
 I made it 
  March 18, 2018
Quoting Captain Kenbo Great episode! Can't believe we're at the finale already. Interesting stuff with the Alpha 1 and I love the dynamic between Dustin and Risa. I'd have expected some sort of romance to be there by now but it's not necessary, their friendship is just great
Ha ha, thanks Kenbo! Yeah, the guys with Alpha 1 are certainly some rather interesting characters. Expect to see more of them in the future. And I'm glad you like Dustin and Risa's dynamic! Honestly, a romantic side isn't as important to me as their overall relationship as companions. Glad you enjoyed mate!
 I like it 
  March 18, 2018
Dang it I knew you were going to leave us hanging. Wow! What an amazing episode! You should seriously consider putting all these episodes into a book. It would make an awesome series.
 I like it 
  March 18, 2018
Very nice. I love Grim. He is such a good character!
 I like it 
  March 18, 2018
Great episode! Can't believe we're at the finale already. Interesting stuff with the Alpha 1 and I love the dynamic between Dustin and Risa. I'd have expected some sort of romance to be there by now but it's not necessary, their friendship is just great
 I made it 
  March 18, 2018
Quoting Benjamin O Ohhhhh boooyyyyy... did you seriously just kill off Dustin, man? That would be a bold move, in many ways. I hope you didn't, for mutiple reasons, a few involving Virgil, fyi. ;) But besides that, incredibly done, as always. The action, the overall story, all absolutely top-notch. If this is part 1 of your finale, then I can't wait to see what's coming next.
Thanks Ben! Glad you liked it! Part 2 is in the works already, and should be out soon. Hopefully you won't find it too boring, but I won't spoil it yet. XD
 I made it 
  March 18, 2018
Quoting Winslow "Whit" Wadsworth Whittier The Wise™ Great episode! Though I hope Dustin lives somehow...:P
Thanks mate! And Part 2 will be out soon, don't fret.
 I like it 
  March 17, 2018
Ohhhhh boooyyyyy... did you seriously just kill off Dustin, man? That would be a bold move, in some many ways. I hope you didn't, for mutiple reasons, a few involving Virgil, fyi. ;) But besides that, incredibly done, as always. The action, the overall story, all absolutely top-notch. If this is part 1 of your finale, then I can't wait to see what's coming next.
  March 17, 2018
Great episode! Though I hope Dustin lives somehow...:P
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