FreeLancer City – Prologue
As the summer’s relentless sun beat down on the city, Krayce muttered in frustration as he made his way away for the pile of rubble that was his last mission, and opponent. The heat wave had been going on for three weeks now, finding his target had taken two of them, and the whole encounter with the fugitive, that the city had sent him after, only lasted about forty minutes. Not only was he disappointed with the guy’s lack of resistance, he was miffed at the fact that it’d taken him two bloody weeks to find the weakling. He sighed and picked up the data card he’d been asked to retrieve and turned, deciding it was time for drink. His ears twitched as kicked along a large pebble as he left, the clattering seeming to mysteriously echo off of the pile behind him.
Hands shoved in his pockets, the lynx muttered to himself as he passed through the city streets, grumbling quietly about the migraine he knew would soon start pounding in his skull. It happened every time he had a mission, and still continued to endure his line of work. As he stopped at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change, he looked up at the buildings that surrounded him. Why on earth did he keep making himself endure the throbbing fits of pain that tormented him after each battle? As his fingers brushed again the wallet in his pocket, he smirked. Cause it paid well, and form time to time, it was actually fun. He sighed as the light finally changed and he made his way across the street… only from time to time though. He scanned the area, sighing once again, this time in relief, as he found what he’d been looking for.
Krayce made his way up to the nearest drinking establishment that he found, smiling to himself as he realized it happened to be one he’d been to many times before. The smile, however, quickly became a grimace of pain as the sweat on his forehead dripped into to one cut the mark had actually managed to give him. He growled softly and made his into the pub, and then stopped as door shut behind him, the immediate darkness surprising him. Blinking few times to help his eyes adjust to the sudden lack of light, he made his way over to the bar, ordering a beer as he took a seat on one few stools left open, the others filled with numerous patrons, some of which he knew, some he didn’t. He rubbed his temples, willing with all his might for his headache, which had now arrived in full force, to go away. It seemed his last battle had taken more out of him than he wished to admit, and this was because he had misjudged his opponent’s skill… yet again. The bartender placed the requested bottle of beer on the counter in front of Krayce and the lynx quickly scooped it up, pressing the cold glass against the gash on his forehead, He sat there for a moment, eyes closed, letting the cold from the drink numb the wound. The bartender looked at him, one eyebrow raised in question.
"You know, if you wanted something cold, I could have given you one of the compresses I keep in the freezer. You didn't have to waste a perfectly good beer," the husky said, wiping the counter down with a damp cloth.
Krayce opened his eyes, set the bottle down on the counter, and gave him a look. "I have every intention of drinking it Jore, now shut your trap and go tend to your other customers," he replied, twisting the cap off his drink. Jore rolled his eyes and sighed as the feline took a swig, then turned and made his way down the bar to take more orders. Krayce took another swig, and then turned to Jore as he walked away, shouting after him. "If anything happens, just add it to my tab, okay?" he called, Jore turning around, a puzzled look on his face.
"Sorry for wha-" he began, but was interrupted as a cloaked figure crashed through the front window. It rolled as it landed, regained its footing and ran at Krayce, its right hand pulled back, palm open and red as it readied a fire cast. Krayce spun around on his stool the beer from his bottle spilling out as he crossed his arms in front of his chest, just as the attacker reached him. The figure thrust his hand at his opponent's chest, unleashing a burst of flame as it did. Fire lashed out on all sides for a moment, burning everything it touched. The inferno then died, leaving a cloud of smoke in its wake. The attacker relaxed and stood, sighing as it did.
The assailant let out a raspy sigh as he stepped closer to the haze that had once been Krayce. It was not pleased to see that he’d gone done faster than them, and reached out to retrieve the disk that the feline had recovered, stopping in stopped in surprise as a glow emanated from the smoke behind him. The hooded figure smirked in his veil of shadow.
"It seems we're both harder to kill than we originally thought," it remarked as it looked up to see Krayce, still sitting on his stool, arms crossed in a ice cast, his body and seat enveloped in a blue shield with a large snowflake pattern emblazoned across it.
Krayce replied with a wide, fanged grin, the beer in his hand frosted over as the spilling contents had become frozen from the wintery magic. "So it would seem," he said, dropping his shield and hopped of his stool, placing his beer on what was left of the counter. He looked over the figure, eyes scanning him and the room, coming to rest for a moment on the nearby pool table, flicking back to his opponent after a few seconds.
"Hah! This should prove interesting," the figure said, stepping towards the lynx, letting out a sudden cry as he stopped, his eyes wide in surprise as a cue ball suddenly flew by in streak of white. The ball rocketed past, hitting another one of the patrons square in the forehead, a curse flying from his lips as he fell back with a crash. Kracye grimaced as he watched the man fall, turning his gaze back in time to see the figure running at him once more, narrowly escaping in a dive to the side as the attack crashed through what was once his bar stool. Whipping his tail out, he wrapped around the figure’s closest leg, yanking it out from under him as he got back on his feet, quickly loading his revolver and aiming it down to the fallen opponent. Seeing the gun that was being trained on him, the figure rolled to the right just the shot rang out, the bullet lodging itself in the wooden floor. Krayce growled and followed its movement, letting off a few more shots, each one missing as it flipped back onto its feet. The figure didn’t stand for long however as it stepped back onto a slick of ice that had formed behind him, landing with a loud thud, the magic’s caster crying in triumph. Letting out a growl of frustration, it began to rise once more, leaning back quickly as sword sliced through the air towards him, embedding itself in the wall behind him. As the fighter desperately tried to free his weapon, Krayce quickly leaped forward, aiming his gun at the disoriented figure in an attempt to take advantage of the distraction. He let off a round, nodding a little as it found its mark, striking the figure in the shoulder and sending him sprawling back into the wall. Keeping his forward movement, Krayce barred his arm across the figure’s chest, pinning it to the wall as he placed his gun against the forehead inside the hood. He smirked a bit as his helpers came over to him, weapons and magic ready in case it attempted to escape. The lynx nodded to them, pulling a pair of handcuffs from his back pocket. He hated using them, but in this instance, he didn’t really have a choice. Flipping the figure around, he locked its paws up behind his back, leading him towards the exit.
“Nice try, but this time, I’m making sure you don’t come after me,” he muttered, pushing it out the door, pausing to turn back to the crowd. “Thanks! I’ll buy you all a round the next time I stop by! Oh, and Jore? Mail me the bill!” Turning back to press his captive forward, he growled softly. “And you’re going to the authorities…”