Hunt Page 5

Hunt
By Matt Lao

Page 5

Just as Talon began to encroach upon Vert, an explosion could be both heard and felt through the noise of the bikes. Broken from the trance of pursuit, Talon immediately recognized the sound. As he quickly glanced behind him, Talon caught a flash of crackling energy moving far faster than either bike. The spark pulled ahead of both huntsmen, erupting barely ahead of Vert. The resulting explosion had shredded Vert’s bike and threw him to the floor. From seemingly out of nowhere, Lady Demora stood in the spark’s place. Talon’s joyride had come to an end.

Above the three Guardians, what was once a catatonic night sky transformed into an angry, ionized atmosphere. Dark clouds swelled like celestial leviathans, while heavy torrents of rain stirred the desert sands. Earth-shaking thunder demonstrated the power of the growing storm. Lightning crashed and frenzied around Demora, the static charge lifting her off of the ground. Electric-blue spider legs branched off of the storm-caller. Demora glowed with power that rivaled that of the sun. Like camera shutters, flashes of blue light captured the breath of the desert and everything in it. The storm-caller extended a single palm towards Vert. Before either gunslinger could react, one of the biggest bolts of lightning Talon had ever seen in all 600-hundred of his lives flowed from Lady Demora’s hand. Like a divine cannon, the arc blast rocked the planet. All that remained of Vert was a charred pile of bones.

“Demora, I thought I told you. I got it,” whined a defeated Talon. The baroness allowed nature’s power to dissipate. Slowly, Demora drifted to the ground, her boots gracing the desert floor.

“And I believed you.”

“Then why the hell did you vaporize my target?” Talon shouted, as he pointed to the burnt corpse.

“Because,” Demora said with impatience in her voice, “I grew tired of watching you fool around.” The behemoth storm clouds crumbled. Shouts of thunder shrank to distant whispers. The monsoon winds calmed, the rain became nothing more than tear drops watering the cracked earth. Lady Demora pulled off her helmet, revealing her crimson red lips and blue complexion. The storm-caller’s violet hair fell all about her head, covering most of her face. The smoldering remains of Vert’s jet-bike cast a faint campfire glow upon the two Guardians. Other than the wreckage, the mist of darkness had descended upon the desert once more.

“You know, if this ‘thing’ we have going is permanent…” Talon paused. The gunslinger searched himself for a moment. “We have to be able to agree on things. The ‘big’ things, mostly. You know?” Demora’s frustration grew evermore present to Talon.

“If you would stop treating me like a child, maybe then I would tend to have a little more respect for your decisions. However it seemed that you yourself did not take any part of this assignment seriously.” As the storm-caller crossed her arms, tiny surges of electricity fizzled around her body. “We would already be well on our way back to the City, if you had just let me take care of the target in the first place.”

“Look, despite whatever the outcome was, I just have more field experience than you. I’m not trying to dictate your every move kid,” Talon shrugged as he tried to reason with his partner. “I’m just trying to look out for you.”

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