Alas, poor Huntsville
The Red Warrior
The continuing story of Kirk who has continued his life in Gamma Terra. Seems as though he has made a legend of himself, maybe even greater than that.
The Ashen Oak, named for its forest of Ash Oaks surrounding it, was fairly calm for the bustling town of Greyfields. Iroth, the owner of the Ashen Oak, is a slime ball some might say, some say that cause Iroth is sometimes not such a great character and others say it because Iroth is a literal slime ball. He lay atop a large towel on top of the bar to help clean it. The patrons were going about their usual lives at the Inn, chatting about the latest gossip, chewing the fat about some great expedition to the East, and the occasional drunk who needed to be thrown out by Khrist, the Ashen Oak’s security giant. Later in the day a new face walked into the Ashen Oak, appeared to be male but it was covered from head to toe in cloth to help protect from the ash winds. Some patrons stopped and gawked at the stranger while some continued their conversations while the stranger walked up to the bar and sat down. Iroth quickly slid over towards the stranger, “Greetings traveler,” his gelatinous form wiggled the words free, “welcome to the Ashen Oak, what’ll it be today?” The figure met Iroth’s ‘eyes’ while placing some paper currency on the table. “Water if it pleases you,” the figure spoke softly. Iroth lifted the paper up to inspect it, “Hmmm, never seen this kind of dough before…but money is money. Water coming up for you my good ser.” After a short moment Iroth placed a glass of water in front of the figure, but in a second the figure had downed it. A few glasses later the figure removed his hood revealing his blood red hair, lime green eyes, and stubble to match his hair. The man looked to Iroth and smiled, “Thank ya ser,” Iroth does his best to nod but can’t help but stare at the man for he seemed so familiar, before he could ask the man a voice raised up in the Inn, “HEY! You’re that guy!”
Kirk instinctively gripped his sword but quickly let it go as he saw the man was just a drunk.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah you’re that guy I’ve heard about,” the man stumbled as he approached Kirk.
“I’m sorry you must have me mistaken for someone else,” Kirk slowly raised his hand in apology to the man.
The man waved his hand, “Nah! You match the description: Red hair, green eyes, tall, and armed to the teeth. You are…The Red Warrior!”
Suddenly the Inn became deathly quiet as everyone began to stare at Kirk, some whispers started as people were inspecting Kirk.
“The Red Warrior,” Kirk sounded confused, “never heard of ‘em.”
“Well of course not,” the man stumbled right up to Kirk, “that’s because it’s you, duh!”
As the man began to talk Kirk noticed some of the patrons left while some started checking their weapons. Kirk sighed heavily.
“The Red Warrior who fought his way to the Tower and slew the dictator on top of it but before that had to fight off a small army of Porkers to get to him.” The man continued to ramble about some of Kirk’s adventures, some were true, some were just legend, and some were just down right ridiculous. The man continued talking to everyone while several men stood behind Kirk with weapons ready, three cyborgs, four anthropomorphic, and one that seemed human. Kirk spun to see the men and held his hands up, “I wouldn’t believe a word that man says,” Kirk spoke as he looked to the drunk, “I mean he obviously has had to much to drink.” The human places a poster onto the bar, a wanted poster of Kirk. The human looked to Kirk and spoke smoothly, “I don’t know pal that seems to be you right there. So I think me and my boys will take our chances with a terrible case of mistaken identity.” With that said the rest of the men started to surround Kirk. He just stood there allowing the men to surround him while he just sighs deeply. “Well then if I cannot dissuade you gentlemen,” Kirk spoke as his blade quickly appeared in his hands, “I’m afraid I will have to do this the hard way.”
Most of the bounty hunters were shocked how quickly Kirk had unsheathed his sword except for the three cyborgs that charged at him with weapons drawn. Kirk’s blade easily caught all three weapons and held tight as Kirk met all of their eyes, “Remember…I gave you a chance.” Both Kirk’s eyes and grip began to tighten as he prepared himself. In an instant his sword flashed up taking all three cyborgs weapons with it and before they could grab at them all three of their necks were sliced cleanly open. The remaining men all took a step back as they took in what just happened. “Don’t just stand there you idiots,” the human bounty hunter shouted, “fucking kill him!” One of the anthros, a bear, gripped his giant club and spun towards the now serious Kirk, The Red Warrior. Kirk could not match the bear man in strength but he could out class him in speed, dodging mighty blows that could easily shatter a lesser man. One downward swing shattered part of a large table which Kirk took advantage of immediately, as the non shattered part of the table rose up as if to proclaim it’s dominance over its other half Kirk leapt onto it and back flipped off of it. As his body turned he sunk his sword into the bear man’s throat and with his momentum he dragged him down to the ground, his body hit first while his head spun in the air for a bit then landed on the bar top. Kirk’s hands dripped blood as he rose to meet the eyes of the remaining anthros, a rabbit, a boar, and a rat. The rabbit quickly drew two pistols, the boar unfolded a long spear, and the rat drew throwing knives. Kirk dashed towards the group with his sword raised, the rabbit opened fired while the boar rushed at him. Kirk managed to deflect one bullet while the others whizzed by him like annoying insects before he was clashing with the boar. The boar’s speared reached out to Kirk but was met instead by Kirk’s blade who sent the spear into the ceiling who then placed himself into the boar’s side. Kirk then spun the boar around so then he could use his body as a bullet sponge. After a few seconds of shots being fired Kirk quickly threw the boar’s body forward as the rabbit began to reload. Kirk slid underneath the body and then quickly launched himself up into the body and flipped it up so he was on top of it like a silt surfer. The rabbit was taken by surprised while the boar’s body slammed into him while Kirk landed behind him. The rabbit did it’s best to get to its feet but Kirk’s blade caught the rabbit in the face. As Kirk’s blade pulled itself free of the rabbit it quickly deflected a knife from the rat. A moment later Kirk scooped up one of the rabbit’s pistols and ended the rat with a bullet in head.
With the bounty hunters dead Kirk turned to the human who was on his way out of the Inn. “You’ll regret this you bastard, no one crosses The Bonded Bounties and gets to live.” Kirk just stood there in the middle of all the bodies, “Did he really just say that?” With that Kirk turned towards the remaining patrons of the Inn, “So who are these guys? They serious or just a buncha wussies?”
Iroth spoke up, “Oh no stranger, they are very serious indeed. Their leader, Tobias Crenshaw, is the most dangerous man this side of The Silt Planes.”
“Well then,” Kirk spoke calmly as he cleaned and sheathed his blade, “I suppose he and I will have to see who is more dangerous.”
Kirk exited The Ashen Oak while eyeing the fleeing human across the street. “Mark my words Warrior,” the man shakily yelled, “Tobias and The Bound Bandits will be the end of you.” Kirk just smirked as he strode towards the man, “We shall see about that, this Tobias guy just sounds like some would be king playing with weak minded fools. I shall like to see his face when I break his illusion of ‘power’.” The man just smiled, “I guess you really never have heard of him then,” as he spoke he quickly pulled out a flare gun and held it up to the sky, “then I shall love to see that cold confidence drowned in a sea of despair brought on by Tobias and the Bandits.” Kirk watches the flare ascend up into the sky and slowly drop down back to the ground. Kirk’s eyebrow arches, “Soooo when am I supposed to get drowned?” The man threw down the flare gun and took off running out of town, “You will see soon enough Warrior, they we shall rise with the sun. I’d pray to your deity for you shall meet them with the fall of the sun.” Kirk just stood in the street watching the man flee while the townspeople joined him on the streets. Some of the citizens of the town began to scream and panic while others just stood in disbelief and the flare shot. Kirk quickly grabbed a somewhat calm person, “You, is this so called Bound Bandits group that bad?” The man Kirk had grabbed seemed almost to look pass him as he spoke, “The Bound Bandits number in the hundreds and Tobias, the leader, is stronger than all put together…some say he is a god, or demon. Some even say Tobias has special bodyguards who almost rival him but those are just legends.” After that the man just started gibbering non-sense about the destruction of the town and how doomed they were so Kirk let him go and walked through the town. He began to scope out the town for defensible positions and found very few buildings that seemed promising. Kirk was about to call it quits when he spotted something outside of town, a tall statue. A few minutes of walking and Kirk arrived at the statue. Our Founder And Hero, The Lady Of The Stars, read the plaque upon the statue of a cloak covered woman atop a somewhat broken space craft. Kirk inspected the statue of the woman then the space craft and later discovered the craft was still functional. He assumed it hasn’t been used due to it being a historic part of the town but if he was going to help this town he was going to have to tweak this monument. Hours of work started as Kirk began to refuel and repair the space craft, some of the townsfolk protested to Kirk to stop his work while others helped him in his desperate defense plan. As night began the townsfolk returned to their homes while Kirk continued to work. As he made the last repair he felt a hand on his shoulder, with a blur of motion he faced the person behind him with blade in hand. He discovered he faced a cloaked woman similar to the statue. “Greetings Red Warrior,” the woman spoke calmly as Kirk lowered his blade, “I am The Lady Of The Stars.”
Kirk stood there face to face with a woman who should not exist, The Lady Of The Stars, the hero and founder of Greyfields. The Lady Of The Stars pulled back her hood to reveal long raven like hair, almost white eyes, and a strange symbol on her forehead, it appeared to be a circle with horns on top of it and a cross on the lower part. “I thank you for the help you are bringing my town,” The Lady spoke, “and soon your efforts will come with a reward,” Kirk’s eyes widened at The Lady’s statement, “Like what kind of reward?” The Lady Of The Stars simply stared at Kirk, “Your love ones safe.” Kirk’s heart seemed to stop as The Lady spoke but after a moment he met her eyes, nodded and then before he knew it several hours had passed. Kirk stood up sleepily as he checked himself slowly. First off he discovered he was inside the space craft where a bed had been set up and all of his belongs were beside him. Next to his belongings was a hand written note.
Do not allow your journey to end here, for you are being tested.
The Lady Of The Stars
The symbol that was on The Lady’s forehead was on the bottom of the note.
After carefully folding up the note and placing it into his pocket, Kirk gathered up his gear and prepared for the battle that was to come upon this small town he has sworn to protect.
The sun was beginning to rise as Kirk was finishing up his repair work for the rocket as he noticed the dust cloud rising off in the distance. Kirk began quickly fixing things here and patching things there. He finished with the repairs when he looked to the statue to discover the statue of The Lady Of The Stars was gone, the only thing left was the statue’s clothing. Kirk looked to the clothes then looked around, after a few moments of looking around he knew what he had to do….so he waited.
Engines roared, dust clouded the sky, and blood thirsty bandits roared for the head of The Red Warrior. The bandits roared past the statue of the town hero/founder, they didn’t seem to notice an extra engine roaring along with theirs along with the statue removing its clothes to reveal The Red Warrior.
Kirk drew back his bow with all his might and released the arrow. His arrow found home in a bandits neck and then a few more arrows found more bandits. Kirk’s make-shift rocket sped towards the rest of the bandits, there were hundreds of them. Kirk readied himself, for he knew he was in for a battle.
It did not take long for the bandits to realize their numbers were being cut down, but as most of the bandits turned to face their threat Kirk was already on them. His blade bit into many bandits while he procured guns and used them for his onslaught amongst his foes. Bandit after bandit fell but still there were so many of them, it took little time for them to put Kirk on the defensive. The bandits up in the front of their convoy unleashed a hail of steel at their pursuer, but Kirk answered their hail with a powerful kick from his rocket which flipped its nose skyward and then it shot into the sky. As Kirk rocketed into the sky most of the bandits drew their guns towards him but his makeshift vehicle barely fast enough to evade their shots, within seconds Kirk was racing towards the head of the bandit numbers. Unfortunately for Kirk a lucky bullet struck the rocket’s engine and caused it to start sputtering out. “Oh this just gets better and better,” Kirk sighed as his rocket and him starting dropping to the ground. With no time Kirk did the only thing he could, he jumped off his rocket and prayed he landed safely. He did his best to direct and lessen his fall into the bandits, his luck seemed to pay off as he landed on top of a bandit. Before he could celebrate his luck it seemed to turn itself upside down as other bandits jumped onto his current vehicle. As Kirk readied himself his former rocket hit the ground hard and all that fuel inside of it went up in a giant fireball consuming a good chunk of the bandits and almost him with it. The blast wave had knocked him into the vehicle in front of his current one, the bandits that were on the one he was on just got knocked to the road and were ran over by their bandit brothers.
As best as he could guess Kirk had cut the bandits’ number down by half so far but still so many to go. He struggled to climb up the bandit vehicle but eventually made it, luckily no more bandits were behind him so he could focus on the front now. Kirk noticed blood was coming from his head, some debris from the explosion must have hit him but regardless he continued. He rushed forward towards the bandit piloting the vehicle, he thrusted his sword towards the bandit. His sword scraped off the bandits back as the bandit turned to reveal his face was almost entirely rock, “Oh Higher Power,” Kirk exclaimed as the rock man slammed him into the vehicle. Before Kirk could stop him the rock man overpowered him and tied him up, relieved Kirk of his weapons, and then kicked him off the ship as he tied Kirk’s rope to the ship. Kirk skidded across the open road towards town as the bandits dragged him. As Kirk opened his eyes he realized he was already in Greyfields, the townspeople all watched in horror as the remaining bandits circled Kirk. He did his best to struggle against the ropes but it was no use. All the bandits exited their vehicles and started walking towards Kirk, the rock man now holding Kirk’s rope. “Ah, he don’t look so tough now do he,” one bandit said with a big grin on his filthy face. “Take this rope away and you’ll see how tough I am you scum,” Kirk rose to his feet as he struggled. All the bandits laughed except the rock man who just shrugged and released the rope. The bandits turned towards the rock man who looked back to them, “He has still got fight in him,” the rock man said with a bit of gravel in his voice, “I want you all to take that fight out of him.” Before they could respond Kirk was already on them. His ropes were still around him but were loose now so he proceeded to tackle one bandit to the ground, grabbed the man’s knife and cut himself free. He greeted another bandit with a sweep of his legs and Kirk’s other leg dropped onto the man’s throat. Kirk was a flurry of motion as most of the bandits started backing away as they saw the terrible legend come to life. Kirk’s eyes burned like an angry green sun ready to engulf them. Some bandits stood their ground but they were quickly cut down by Kirk who procured a second knife from a bandit. Two bandits drew pistols and opened fire but Kirk met their fire power with two thrown knifes to their throats. Kirk strode forward, his rage obvious, but inside he was beginning to tire. He shook his tiredness from his mind as he ran forward, grabbed the fallen bandits’ pistols, and aimed them at the bandits who continued to stand their. “You want my bounty,” Kirk shouted so everyone could hear it as he clicked the pistols ready, “then come and get it!”
The bandits rushed at Kirk but he quickly cut down the first wave with gunfire halfway through the second wave both his pistols clicked to tell him they were empty. “Shit,” Kirk hissed as he threw the pistols into the air and readied himself for close combat. As the bandits closed in the pistols came back down and Kirk gripped them by their barrels and then proceeded to hold off the bandits with them. He cracked skulls, broke teeth, blocked blades, and took life. To the townsfolk and the bandits he was a blur of red like a stream of blood on the battlefield. Within moments the second wave was cut down with Kirk standing above them pistols in hand and he was starting to breathe heavily. Kirk scanned the bandits and discovered only about twenty left, he thought he could take them down. Kirk took a single step but after that the rock man appeared in front of him. Before Kirk could react the rock man’s fist slammed into Kirk’s gut and then his face. As he hit the ground Kirk could hear the rock man’s voice, “There, you have all had your fill and you have paid for it,” the rock man sighed, “Tobias is gonna kill me for letting all these jackasses die…oh well, fuck it. At least we got him, someone tie him up and bring him.” The rock man continued to talk but Kirk’s vision blackened and he passed out.
Kirk awoke to the feeling of a small hand smacking him. His vision still blurry but he was able to make out the figure of a small girl in front of him. “He is still alive,” the girl exclaimed yet she sounded muffled to Kirk. Kirk went to talk but his body begged him not to as it ached all over. The girl turned towards him and poured some water over him, he went to grab the bottle but he discovered he was chained to the wall. He gritted his teeth as he spoke through the pain, “Why am I chained?” At that moment Kirk realized the girl was not the only one in the room with him, seemed like a majority of the townsfolk sat with them or were in cells next to him as he also realized he was in an old-timey jail. An elderly man turned towards Kirk and examined him, “You are a prisoner Warrior, is that not obvious enough,” as the man talked he poked and prodded Kirk with precision. Kirk winced at some of the man’s touches but pushed forward, “Then why are you all not chained up, why not just leave this place?” Most of the people looked away from him while the old man just stared him down, “Because we are no threat to the bandits you idiot, even if we have numbers they have weapons, Tobias, and his bodyguards.” Kirk kept his gaze on the man, “So Tobias is special after all, and I’ll assume the same as his bodyguards then.” The old man nodded, “Yes but you are no match to be the hero in this condition boy.” Kirk struggled against his chains, “It matters not about my condition, and these…men must be stopped, I don’t care how powerful you claim them to be,” Kirk just smirked as his muscles tensed against his restraints, “besides I’ve been against worst odds, at best they have what…thirty men left?” The old man smacked Kirk on his forehead, “Foolish boy…I see the legends are true of your persistence.” Kirk raised his head higher while a smile cracked across his face, “The legends are mostly false but some of the good ones are true…I did take on that flock of Yexils, damn things nearly took all my stuff. Also that compound with the Hoppers and Badders was mostly true except for the part with the giant mechanical squid and the peanut butter.” The old man smirked as Kirk recalled his tales of the past few years across the wasteland, “Well Warrior you may be that good but I can’t in good conscience let a man like you out of here knowing you will die.” Kirk nodded solemnly, “I suppose I can understand that but,” Kirk ripped himself free of his chains but not without severe discomfort to himself, “I cannot allow these bandits to terrorize this town any longer.” Everyone in the jail stood in total awe as Kirk strode forward towards the cell door.
Kirk walked up to the door and pushed on it, it didn’t budge, “Well fuck,” Kirk sighed,” I was at least hoping they would have it unlocked.” The townspeople stared in total shock as Kirk stood at the door trying to push it open. After a few moments of trying to bust the open Kirk slid down next to the door, “Well I gave it my best,” he weakly laughed. As he spoke the small girl walked up to the door, pulled some things out of her pockets, hovered over the lock of the door, and suddenly the door swung open as the girl stood there triumphantly. Kirk sat on the floor slack jawed as the girl offered her hand to him, eventually he took her hand and stepped out of the cell but she remained inside with the others. “Go,” she spoke softly, “and save this town Warrior.” Kirk stared at the townsfolk for a few moments before he slinked off down the jail’s hallway towards the bandits and their leader.
The first bandit Kirk encountered quickly fell with a snap of the man’s neck, with the bandit dealt with he quickly searched the front room of the jail to find all of his gear. As Kirk was gearing up he heard footsteps and voices approaching from outside so he slid himself underneath a nearby desk as the door swung casually open. “And so I tells the guy ‘I don’t care if she’s your wife she is…what the hell,” A bandit exclaimed as he saw the body of one of his brothers. Kirk heard three blades being drawn and five sets of footfalls, gunmen…great. Kirk knew he had to end this quickly least he draw all the bandits’ attention down on him at once. In one fluid motion Kirk popped out from under the desk, unsheathed his blade, shoved it into the back of a nearby bandit, stole the man’s knife he had in his hand, and used it to dig itself into one of his brother’s eyes on the opposite side of the room. After his initial attack put him out into the open, Kirk quickly threw his dead bandit towards another bandit who was aiming a rifle at him. Kirk slid down onto the floor behind a desk as the rifle bandit began to fire after recovering from his dead brother being thrown at him. As the desk behind him became riddled with holes Kirk quickly threw himself to another desk which happened to be right by the first bandit he encountered which he happily took the dead man’s pistol. Kirk waited for a pause in the rifleman’s fire and that is when he popped out of his cover but he discovered that the other two bandits in the room were running towards him with blades drawn, they were covering the rifleman while he reloaded. At first the bandits appeared to have an advantage of numbers but the two knife wielders were quickly cut down by two shots to the head, it may not have been his bow but it would do. With the remainder of his brothers dead the rifleman did the only thing he could do, he ran outside and sounded the alarm. “HE’S OUT, HE’S OUT,” the rifleman shouted at the top of his lungs before a bullet to the back took him to the ground. “Ah shit,” Kirk sighed as he quickly ran out to the rifleman, used his last round to put the man down, and procured his rifle. Kirk quickly ran for the closest cover he could find which the fountain the middle of town was. As he reached the fountain the ground around him erupted in gunfire. Kirk hunkered down but as soon as he did the gunfire stopped and a single voice called out amongst the silence, “Well well Warrior, looks like you are in quite a situation here.” Kirk just smirked, “Nah, I’ve been in hairy ones.” He heard laughter all around him as the bandits found his remark amusing. The single voice called out again, “Do you know who I am Warrior?” Kirk took this time to observe his surroundings, he was completely surrounded from the rooftops to the insides of the buildings, “Well…you must be this Tobias guy I’ve heard so much about.” Kirk heard a chuckle, “Very good Warrior, at least you are not as foolish as I thought you were considering your predicament.”
“Oh don’t you worry,” Kirk smiled as he prepared himself, “I am full of surprises.” With his comment made Kirk eased out of the side of the fountain and began raining death to the bandits above and beside his position.
The bandits immediately returned fire but Kirk was quicker and more trained, within seconds he had taken town five bandits on both rooftops. Since he had more breathing room Kirk took the chance to sprint out from his cover and to a building as he ran he spared a glance to where Tobias’ voice came from but there was no one there. He crashed through the door to the building and immediately was met with gunfire from within. Kirk threw himself behind some furniture as the bullets whizzed by his head. After a short pause to catch his breath Kirk leaned out from his cover and caught a bandit in the eye. Soon after he killed the bandit the cover around him exploded in gunfire from the bandits in the building across the street. That left Kirk with little option except to jump over his cover leaving him exposed to the bandits in the building with him. A bullet caught Kirk in his side while he flipped over his cover and ran towards the bandits in the building. Gripping his side and holding the rifle one handed, Kirk winced while firing the rifle at the bandits. One bandit was struck in the chest, another was hit in the shoulder, and the other two bandits ducked back into their cover while Kirk advanced towards them as he reloaded. Kirk cocked the rifle as he readied it for fresh ammo, tossed the ammo into the air, reached out with his mind to one of the bandits in cover, aimed the bandit’s gun at his cover brother, and pulled the trigger. The injured bandits both looked to the mind controlled bandit, shouted, “Traitor,” and riddled the bandit with lead. During the chaos of the bandit’s friendly fire, Kirk managed to reload his rifle and put down the two bandits while ducking behind cover from the continual fire from the bandits across the street. Kirk quickly gathered ammo and two pistols from the fallen bandits as well as a bundle of dynamite. He unslung his bow, put the rifle next to him, tied two arrows around the stick of dynamite, lit the dynamite with a lighter from one of the bandits, and fired the makeshift arrow at the building across the street. The arrow flew as straight as it could as it sunk into a pillar next to a surprised bandit, a second later the dynamite went off. Kirk’s building shook as the other building erupted and crumbled into dust and ruin. After taking a few seconds for a breather and gathering his belongings, Kirk strode out of the building preparing for a firefight. No shots were fired. Kirk was only greeted with two figures standing in the street, the rockman and a woman dressed in a dark red blouse and dark camo pants. Kirk, breathing more calm now, stood tall as the figures stared at him and smiled. “Well now,” the rockman growled, “looks like the boy got his fangs back.” Kirk cracked his neck as he watched the figures, “So I’m assuming you two are Tobias’ bodyguards then?” The figures smirked and the woman responded while her hair became engulfed in flame, “You sure know your facts Warrior, lets see if you skill matches your mind.” Silence followed the words but the figures quickly rushed towards Kirk who readied his blade and his body for the fight to come.
The rockman’s shoulder met Kirk’s blade with such force that Kirk could barely keep his footing. The man grunted against the blade, “You’re stronger than ya look Warrior, this might not be a waste of my time.” Kirk just smiled as he met the man’s eyes, “Good, didn’t wanna disappoint ya…besides I have to get payback for earlier.” Kirk quickly jerked his blade back and forced the hilt down onto the rockman’s face, the rockman did not flinch. Kirk sighed as the rockman’s fist met his stomach and sent Kirk flying back. Out of breath, Kirk shakily got onto his feet while he saw the rockman run towards him. Kirk gritted his teeth through the pain, pulled out the two pistols he procured from the fallen bandits, and began unloading bullets at the rockman while running at him. The bullets bounced off the man’s stoney flesh while a few chipped a few pieces off him. The rockman jumped for Kirk as he closed in on him, Kirk, who had just ran through both pistols ammo, jumped onto the rockman’s shoulders and pushed hard against him to force him back to the ground. The effort was all in vain as the rockman grabbed Kirk’s legs and threw him to the ground, hard. Before Kirk could react the rockman was already on top of him, he began to crush him under his massive weight. Kirk struggled and grunted while the rockman just laughed, “Seems as though even legends have their limits aye Warrior?” Kirk met the rockman’s eyes with determination and smirk, “Well I guess I just have one option really.” Kirk managed to force his hands, with both pistols, free and plunged the still smoking barrels into the man’s eyes. The rockman quickly got up, screaming bloody murder, while Kirk flipped himself up onto his feet while unslinging his rifle. “Oh Adam,” the woman laughed, “don’t tell me you are letting the Warrior get the better of you?” Adam looked to the woman, his eyes still smoking, “Shut it Ember and just pull your fucking weight.” Ember shrugged as the fire in her hair dimmed while it began to coalesce around her arms, “Very well Adam, but only because you asked so nicely.” Kirk aimed his rifle at Ember, not giving her a chance to enter the battle, and pulled the trigger. The bullet flew true but suddenly it melted as it neared Ember who just smiled, “Oh dear Warrior,” Ember exclaimed while putting a burning hand to her chest, “you wouldn’t shoot a lady would you?” Kirk smirked while cocking the rifle, “Obviously you haven’t heard of the tale of me and the tower of succubae then.” Kirk strode forward while firing the rifle at Ember who continued to melt the bullets away. Adam, finally recovered from having eyes burned, charged at Kirk who seemed preoccupied with Ember. Kirk casually flipped sideways to avoid Adam’s charge, both Adam and Ember’s eyes widened as they realized that Kirk was becoming more and more the legend they had heard about. As Kirk landed he flipped the rifle onto his shoulder, fired at Adam’s back a few times, twisted his neck to roll the rifle back towards Ember and went back to firing at her. Ember, still melting Kirk’s bullets, made a quick gesture and a bow of flame appeared in her hands which she then used to fire bolts of flame at Kirk. Kirk reflexively dodged the first bolt but the second caught him in the leg which caused him to wince and roll onto the ground. He took the time rolling on the ground to catch a peak behind him to discover Adam had torn the fountain in the middle of the town off the ground and was in the process of throwing it at Kirk. “Oh great,” Kirk exclaimed while he started running towards Ember who proceeded to fire her flame at Kirk as he closed in on her. As Kirk ran his wounds began to take hold, his leg burned, his side was still bleeding, and his torso ached from Adam’s assault, but he continued forward nonetheless. He dodged more rapid bolts of flame as the fountain came crashing down behind him. Kirk began sweating as he neared Ember but he ignored it as the fountain chunks were raining down around him. Knowing his guns to be useless, Kirk threw his rifle at Ember who instinctively incinerated the gun which still had a single round in it. The gun exploded a foot from Ember’s face while Kirk took the opportunity to rush her. Kirk felt his hair singe as he closed the space between him and Ember but he only needed a moment. Kirk’s foot stepped onto Ember’s thigh while his hand grabbed one of hers and put it on his bleeding side which seared the wound shut almost immediately, it was incredibly painful but he needed every advantage, and finally he placed his other foot on the back of Ember’s head and kicked her hard to the ground while he skidded to a halt behind her fallen body. Out of the smoky ruins of the thrown fountain Adam emerged, his fist balled, who rushed at Kirk. Kirk quickly pulled his blade out as Adam was closing in. Adam’s fist met Kirk’s blade but this time Kirk planted himself firmly so he barely moved as the rockman’s knuckles scraped against the killer steel of his blade. Adam’s eyes burned with rage as he roared at Kirk who just stood his ground. Adam jumped back and went in for another rush attack but this gave Kirk the opportunity he had been waiting for. Kirk rushed towards Adam, who became confused but soon regretted that bewildered state as Kirk’s blade stabbed into his knee. Adam growled in pain as Kirk left his blade in Adam while he slid underneath him, planted his hands on the ground, pushed himself off with as much force as he could, flipped back in front of Adam, and landed onto his embedded blade while a smirk streaked across his face. Chunks of stone and bits of flesh erupted from Adam’s knee while Kirk’s blade was flung into the air. Adam fell onto his other knee while howling in pain while Kirk felt the strangest sensation, was he getting hotter. Flame erupted around him and Adam while Ember stepped out behind Adam, her hair and eyes engulfed in fire. “Oh right,” Kirk slumped a little, “was hoping that you were out for a bit longer.” Ember’s arms blazed bright as she rocketed towards Kirk whose blade had just landed blade first in front of him in the ground. Kirk ran toward the blade while Ember raced towards him at an alarming pace. At the last second Kirk planted his foot onto the hilt of his blade, jumped over Ember, and landed on one hand. With his free hand Kirk scooped up some mud, thanks to the fountain, and flung it at Ember who had just turned around. Mud caked Ember’s burning face, which only seemed to make it burn brighter. As Kirk pushed himself off his hands and landed onto his feet Adam grabbed him from behind. “Ha gotcha ya little bastard,” he bellowed with joy, “now Ember, finish this runt.” Ember wiped the mud off her face, smiled, and strode towards Kirk while a blade of flame grew from her arm. Kirk started to struggle but even Adam in his wounded state could hold him. Ember closed the distance quickly, her blade boiling the air as it rushed to sear Kirk’s flesh. Kirk’s foot kicked as hard as it could into Adam’s wounded knee while he bashed his back into Adam. Adam growled at the pain which made Kirk’s shove more effective which gave Kirk some wiggle room. Ember’s blade flew over Kirk’s head as he slid out from Adam’s grasp, Adam was not so lucky. Ember’s blade seared straight through Adam’s chest which glowed golden. Adam reeled for a moment but then he collapsed while Ember stood there racked with grief and anger. Ember’s body became fully engulfed in red flame as she turned toward Kirk who was running for his blade. Kirk ripped his blade free from the ground and turned to face Ember but she was already right there in front of him. Her hands lashed out but Kirk held his blade to block her molten hands. Within seconds his blade started glowing but before it could start to affect it Kirk slid the blade out of Ember’s grasp and into her stomach. Ember looked hurt at first but then she laughed as she gripped the blade and pulled it closer in. “Come and burn Warrior,” Ember hissed, flames flicking off her tongue. Kirk started sweating but he just smiled, “No thanks, not much of a heat guy.” Kirk spit into Ember’s eye which steamed on contact, blinding her momentarily. Kirk took the opportunity to pull his blade free from her body and shove it through her burning skull. Ember screamed for a moment then nothing. Ember’s flames went out as her body slumped to the muddy, cold ground.
Kirk pulled his now cooled blade from Ember’s skull and was cleaning it as a voice called out to him, “Well done Warrior, you seem to have bested the best I can offer.” Kirk stood and surveyed his surroundings and only a single man stood atop of a roof at the far end of the street. He wore a brown vest on top of a white button shirt, brown trousers, leather gloves, black boots, and sapphire glasses. “Tobias Crenshaw,” Kirk said with a smirk, “so you’ve finally shown yourself.” Tobias spread his arms wide while a grin, almost hidden by his mustache which flows into thick mutton chops, “Why of course Warrior,” his walnut hair shined in sunlight, “I have to save the best for last.” Kirk laughed as he pointed his blade towards the bandit leader, “Then let us find out who is better.” Tobias’ grin grew wider, “Yes let us.”
Kirk threw his blade forward into the air, pulled out his bow, and ran towards Tobias while firing his bow. Tobias greeted Kirk’s arrows with a simple looking can which was hidden behind him. With his volley of arrows deflected, Kirk aimed his arrows at weak spots in the building Tobias was standing on. Tobias at first was confused but then understood as Kirk put his bow back on his back, caught his sword, and leapt onto the arrows to help him reach the top quicker. Kirk jumped shot up after the last arrow and landed next to Tobias. Kirk’s blade swept at Tobias’ legs but his cane caught the blade with a flick of his wrist. Tobias’ smile grew as Kirk and he danced the dance of warriors. After a few moments both men jumped back, “So you aren’t just all talk,” Kirk spoke while preparing himself for another assault. Tobias chuckled while bringing his cane up in a fencing position, “I have to be the best for my men to not overtake me, granted I don’t have to worry about that now.” Kirk gripped his sword tighter as he rushed at Tobias who just stood there waiting for him. Tobias easily met Kirk’s every swing since Kirk had been fighting for what seemed like hours while Tobias is fresh and ready. “You disappoint me warrior,” Tobias spoke while effortlessly parry Kirk’s blade, “I’d think the man rejected by fate would be more deadly than this.”
Kirk stopped for a moment, “What do you mean ‘rejected by fate’?”
“I know what happened to your companions after you left them, you see my influence is far reaching.”
“You….there’s no way you can know that.”
“Oh but I do, I know your companions had a grand battle in New York and after the battle what appeared to be a normal looking woman in red looked to be casting a spell during a very stirring speech and suddenly everyone from both sides vanished, not even the scars from the battle remained, it’s as if none of it even happened.”
Kirk just stood there, unsure what to say.
Tobias stood tall while he held his cane to the ground, “I had my men search every inch of this hell blasted planet ever since that battle, oh what was it, five or so years ago. No one has seen your friends since, they are gone, as I’m sure are anyone tied to you…except you of course, it’s like fate itself didn’t want you to leave this place.”
Kirk looked at Tobias with confusion and anger in his eyes, “Why were your men there?”
“Well that’s simple really, I had heard tales of a group making a way to New York and had some battles along the way so naturally I was curious just to see how powerful the group was to see if they were a threat to my business.”
“But what about me,” Kirk spoke, “how did you find out about me if you hadn’t found the group until New York?”
“Ah,” Tobias shook his finger, “now that was just pure luck my dear Warrior. You see as my men came into contact with your group some had over heard talking of a companion who left the group, but all we got was a name since my men were forbidden for directly interfering with the group.”
Kirk watched Tobias start to walk in circles around him while he recited the past events.
“It wasn’t until a month or so later that my men heard another tale, a tale of a lone traveler who took on an entire porker invested tower in Chicago. After some searching through the debris and asking the few locals we managed to find the lonely town of Galveston.”
Kirks eyes widened.
Tobias put his hands up as he smiled, “Don’t worry he didn’t suffer…much. After all why would he be afraid of a couple of men looking for a lost friend, couldn’t quite get the description though after all it had been soooo long since we had seen our dear friend.”
“YOU BASTARD,” Kirk shouted as he rushed Tobias who just easily blocked the blade with his cane.
“He even let them in to rest and eat. Heh, before he knew what had happened the gun was already to his head.”
Kirk’s anger grew as Tobias continued to smile.
Kirk jumped away from Tobias and rushed back at him with his blade on the floor. Tobias eased himself into position but as Kirk neared him Kirk flicked his blade up from the floor causing sparks and dust to cloud Tobias’ vision. It wasn’t much but it was as much of an opening as Kirk was going to get so he rushed in. Even with his vision clouded, Tobias barely managed to block Kirk’s sword but it did break his cane. Tobias skidded back while eyeing his broken weapon, “Shame, was my favorite cane.” Kirk ran towards Tobias who pulled his gloves tight as he prepared himself. Kirk slashed and stabbed at him but Tobias easily dodged the blade while he balled his fist and planted it firmly into Kirk’s stomach. Kirk had the breath knocked out of him as he was forced back from Tobias. His body felt like it was about to break as Tobias just strode forward. “What’s the matter Kirk,” Tobias said as he neared Kirk, “all the fight out of ya already?” Tobias spun and planted his heel into Kirk’s cheek. Kirk spun off the roof and landed hard onto the ground a good two stories below, he thought he felt a few ribs crack. As he shakily stood up Kirk watched as Tobias casually stepped off the building and landing with grace even though the stone he landed on cracked and bent. Kirk steadied himself with his sword as Tobias started walking towards him. “Well Kirk,” Tobias said while balling his fists, “I think it’s time to finish this once and for all.” Kirk stood straight, meeting Tobias’ gaze, “The last dance then, lets see if my left feet can live up to the hype.” Tobias chuckled but then quickly shot up into the air, soaring down towards Kirk. Kirk’s blade went up to block Tobias. Tobias’ heel landed on Kirk’s blade while his other heel struck Kirk in the face. Kirk flew back while his nose and mouth bled. Kirk scooted back and soon felt water, he discovered he was back at where the fountain was, water was gushing out of the ground. Suddenly the water all around Kirk started flowing away from him and towards Tobias. “Let me show you what legends are really like Warrior,” Tobias raised his hands while the water pooled around him. Kirk spat blood onto the ground, rose to his feet, gripped his sword, and prepared himself for what was to come, to make sure no matter what that Tobias would be ended. Tobias jettisoned himself towards Kirk, the once calm water became white rapids behind and all around him. Kirk was tackled by Tobias, now both of them began rocketing towards the outskirts of town. Kirk did his best to punch and try to slash Tobias as they flew out of town. A lucky slash caught Tobias from his side to his back that caused him to flinch. Kirk took the opportunity to shove his blade into Tobias’ side and punch him in the side of the head. Tobias was thrown off course which Kirk soon regretted as they both crashed into the statue outside of town. Kirk felt a few ribs give way, one of his shoulders shatter, and he was pretty sure a piece of the statue was inside of him. Kirk slowly turned towards the statue, “How…I destroyed this thing.” Kirk heard a painful laugh coming from Tobias, “I ask myself that every time I blow that damn thing up.” Kirk tried to stand up to meet Tobias but he had been right earlier, a piece of the statue was jutting out of his chest. Kirk hacked up blood while Tobias weakly stood up even though it appeared both of his legs were broken as well as one of his arms. Kirk instinctively reached for his sword but he soon discovered it was by Tobias and it was shattered. Kirk soon realized that his bow was missing as well and he only had a single arrow left. A few droplets formed around Tobias’ hand as he staggered towards Kirk, a few drops of blood were mixed in as well. “Well now Warrior it seems we have both reached our limits, but our legend will continue…but which one?” Kirk’s chest wound gushed a little as he wiggled his one arrow free, “Then come and try to finish my legend, for I know I will end yours!” Tobias smile was caked with his blood but it didn’t seem to care, he only seemed to care about killing Kirk. Suddenly a blade of both water and blood formed onto Tobias’ hand as he stumbled closer to Kirk. Both men yelled their final battle cries. The world seemed to stand still for what seemed like hours. Kirk held down his pain as he felt Tobias’ blade sink into his chest. “There Warrior, YOU ARE DEAD!” Kirk looked up at Tobias and just weakly smiled, “I may die, but I’ll make sure you go first.” Kirk grabbed Tobias’ arm and yanked him off his feet and straight onto Kirk who then took his arrow and forced it through Tobias’ head. Kirk threw Tobias’ corpse off of him so he could be unburdened in his final moments. “Well,” he said weakly, “looks like I’m not walking away from this.” A smile crossed his blood stained face, “At least everyone is safe.” With his words said Kirk died a quiet, alone death.
A minute passed in the wasteland and suddenly beside Kirk’s body The Lady Of The Stars appeared. “You’re time is not up yet Warrior.” She gathered his body and in an instant they both vanished, the only thing left were Tobias’ corpse and Kirk’s shattered sword. A few hours passed before the townsfolk of Greyfields emerged from the jail to discover all the dead bandits. After searching the entire town some of the people ventured out to the statue to discover a new addition to it. Along with the regular statue another figure sat down underneath The Lady Of The Stars’ protection even though the cloaked figure held a broken sword in one hand and an arrow in the other. An inscription lay at the new figures feet: The Red Warrior, Hero of Greyfields and its people. Gave his life to vanquish The Bonded Bandits. May his legend continue both on Gamma Terra and amongst the stars. Most of the townspeople paid their respects at the statue while others gazed up at the sky.
Kirk awoke with shock and a fit of coughing. “He’s awake,” a voice from seemingly nowhere said. Kirk surveyed his surroundings and discovered several things: he was strapped to a chair in the middle of an all white room and he appeared to be completely healed. “What in the name of Higher Power is going on?” Kirk then heard a familiar voice, The Lady Of The Stars, “Please Warrior be still, you are not fully healed yet.”
“Where am I? Release me since I am no prisoner.” Silence followed his words. “I…I’m afraid I cannot answer that question and I cannot release you.”
“Very well then,” Kirk’s voice grew grim as he began to struggle against his restraints. “Somebody stop him,” a voice called out.
“We are not allowed to interfere,” another voice shouted.
After a few moments of struggling Kirk managed to break free and was soon out of the room. Luckily he discovered he still had his clothes on and they were in one piece. Kirk ran through seemingly endless hallways until he finally saw light up ahead, “Ah, finally.” As Kirk approached the exit a figure stood up in front of it, a thin looking robot. “Greetings Red Warrior, I am Automaton 1819. I am to serve as your guide through the lab should you need.” Kirk stopped and examined the robot, “Well that’s good and all but I really just want to leave,” Kirk pointed to the exit, “I mean the exit is right there.” The robot’s tone seemed to take on a more serious tone, “I am sorry Red Warrior you are forbidden from leaving the lab.” Kirk looked amusingly at the robot, “And what? You are gonna stop me?” Sharp, small blades formed from the robot’s hands, “If you do not stop pursuing this course of action, yes.” Kirk laughed and quickly flipped up and crushed his boot into the robot’s head. “They should really build better guards here,” Kirk commented as he stepped out the exit of the building. “Well now lets see why I—-,” Kirk’s words failed him as he gazed at his surroundings. Kirk appeared to be in a humongous city of gold and equally fine quality metals. Men, and other things, past in front of the building on what looked like clouds. Kirk was awestruck for a good ten seconds before he realized two large figures approaching him. “You there,” a bellow reached Kirk’s ears, “where are your papers?” Kirk shook his head as he looked to the voice’s owner, “My…what….papers?” The voice belonged to a large golden lion. “Your papers show them to me,” the lion demanded while the other figure, another lion stared at him. Kirk started to take a defensive position when a calm voice came behind him, “Oh there you are my boy, I have been looking for you.” Both lions straightened up when the voice spoke. Kirk turned to discover an elderly looking man standing tall with his hands behind back. “I’m sorry sir,” one of the lions spoke, “we did not realize he was with you.” The man turned towards the lions, a single long braid swayed as he turned, “Oh it’s quite alright. You may leave us now.” The lions lowered their heads and walked off into the glorious city. One of Kirk’s eyebrows arched as he looked at the man, “Why did you help me?” The man smiled, “Well you see Warrior I like helping people in need, I hear you like that too so I figured it would give me a chance to talk with you about something.” Kirk looked confused, “Talk to me about what?”
“An offer I can make you, I can help you here and in return you help me with some people who are causing some…trouble.” Kirk shrugged, “So I’d pretty much be doing what I’ve always done.” The man leaned in close, Kirk could smell what could only be described as the best smelling old man ever, “Oh I assure you son, it will not be easy, you will be tested…you may even die.” Kirk chuckled, “Well I have already died….I think, so why the heck not.” The man smiled, “Excellent then come with me.” The man began leading Kirk down into the glorious shining city. “You know you know who I am but who are you sir?” With his back to Kirk, the man smiled, “You may call me Sifu young one and I have much to show and teach you.”