By Matt Lao
The gunslinger strode towards the man, the energy spurs of his boots clicking like a clock. The robed one followed beside her partner. The tavern remained as silent as a funeral procession; its mourners respectfully observing the solemn scene. The strangers ignored their audience, perhaps to let them breathe easy. The cloaked one spoke first.
“You’re going to have to come with us.” The gunslinger’s voice was cold and raspy, as if a man was talking through an ancient hand-held radio receiver. The sound of the ‘slinger’s words were guarded, held back and restrained. Talon-13 was not an easy going man; he, a musician, and his revolver, his instrument. A six-round symphony.
“Quite a fancy piece you got there,” croaked the drinking man. “Mind’f I take a gander?” His voice was wooden and dry. Slowly, slowly, the patrons at the tavern began to creep away from the trio. The people of Dune Harrow knew the sound of a coiling rattlesnake. If he could, Talon-13 would have produced a lopsided smirk that safeguarded the storm brewing inside of him. At best, all Talon could do was wheeze out a low-lying scoff. The gunslinger’s orange eyes were poised on the wanted man, his cold hand inching towards his weapon.
Closely beside Talon-13, Lady Demora spoke. Every word as elegant as steady rainfall, as deadly as angry lightning. The crown atop Demora’s helmet began to hum like once plentiful dragonflies. Some bar patrons relaxed their shoulders, some clenched their jagged fists.
“Look, you’ll have time to be jovial and relaxed after we escort you to the Tower. For now, please comply with our request.” To some, Demora seemed too innocent to be making demands. The wanted man glanced at the peculiar duo. Talon-13 grew impatient.
“What’s your kind got to do with me? Your Vanguard didn’t need to send in the goddamn cavalry against poor ol’ me.” The mocking tone of the man irked Talon.
Talon explained, “Cayde’s paying a fortune for your return. On top of that, no normal citizen could pull off your little ‘magic tricks’.” At this, the wanted man finally turned to face Talon-13 and Lady Demora.
“What can I say,” as the drunk shrugged. “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” Demora quickly interrupted.
“All you must do is return the device you’ve stolen from the Ishtar Research Facility. From then on, there will be minimal punitive action taken against you,” said Demora, attempting in vain to convince her target to give in peacefully.
“Or,” suggested Talon, “I bring you in dead, with that fancy piece of tech you’ve stashed somewhere, and then buy all the ship components I want. Your choice. Please, fight back.” Demora appeared to not appreciate Talon’s forwardness.
“I told command that I would apprehend the target alive, and return with the Vex artifact. I would prefer you to not shoot this man in the head like the last one.” Lady Demora’s face bent into a small frown as she whispered to Talon, and he could tell that she was sincere in her latest wish to move up in the Guardian ranks.