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 Chapter Twelve: A Hunting We Will Go!

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Homeostasis
Goddess of BBQ
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Posts : 139
Join date : 2010-06-13
Location : Following something shiny

PostSubject: Chapter Twelve: A Hunting We Will Go!   Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:48 pm

Upper Stret East Bank, like most of the zoned areas in Rubi-ka, had set aside land, called city plots, for guilds to build their headquarters. Guilds that were fortunate enough to own these limited plots of land had built their headquarters into thriving cities, which they fiercely protected. One just couldn't waltz into these cities unnoticed. The Mercenary quickly punched in a few commands into his computer and his suspicions were confirmed. She had not gone to any of the cities.

Turning his attention back to the holographic map, he started from the center of her guild's city, then began to systematically search expanding his radius in 10 mile increments until he'd reached the zones parameters.

With this done, he now knew that the Upper East Stret Bank's zone had over 12 distinct areas. He quickly crossed the Bow Point area off his list. The notoriousPeal Thunder had set up camp there and it was suicide to venture anywhere near his camp alone. Several of the areas were also political zones, and he moved those to the bottom of the list. Political zones had too much activity. He felt she'd be looking for something more secluded. Brief Shallows was basically an island of cities, so he marked that off his list. He had just narrowed his immediate search down to 4 areas, Barchlow's Jump, Synthetik Plain, Stret Woods, and Safe Haven, when his communication relay vibrated. When he looked down and saw the "Wanted Alive!" announcement his visceral growl made a near by scab hyena whimper, tuck tail and scurry off.

As much as The Mercenary detested the idea of stopping the momentum of his search there was no doubt that was exactly what must be done. Hopefully, this needed visit wouldn't take long.


*****

His laughter died in his throat. The overwhelming fear engulfing him made it difficult to breathe. If his life depended on it, he could not turn around and face the nightmare standing directly behind him. He cursed his lack of patience. He should have known The Mercenary would not be pleased. Also, he should have known no amount of security would keep The Mercenary at bay. He was about to begin begging for his life when he realized the feeling of doom had vanished as quickly as it had arrived. He also realized he'd soiled himself. Angrily he snapped off the security camera's log he'd been watching. He then quickly retracted his "Wanted Alive!" announcement replacing it with "Captured! Reward paid in full!" He sat there, in his own filth, for a very long time before his legs found the strength needed to carry him toward the shower.

*****

Returning to his search, he decided to start in the Stret Woods area since it was closest to where he'd just enjoyed a nice visit with his client. He was glad they could come to such a quick understanding.

Stret Woods, as the name implied, was a wooded area. Interspersed within the woods were rolling hills, meadows, city defense towers, and an odd outcropping of boulders. Usually such outcroppings were found in barren areas and in clusters. This solo outcropping warranted a closer look. When The Mercenary flew over them, he was surprised to see they formed a perfect circle enclosing a tiny island created by a cascading waterfall. He flew closer to the outcropping circling them once, twice, all the while scanning for life forms. The only form picked up was a leet. He decided to disembark from his yalm and inspect the area on foot. He first inspected the exterior parameter and noted no signs of disturbance. He then quickly climbed the smallest boulder and entered the inner sanctuary. The suns were now on the horizon and did not penetrate over the boulders. Snapping on his flashlight he waded over to the small island. There were no signs of disturbance other than leet foot prints. He stood on the island and slowly turned a full circle. There was nothing to be found.

"Lub j00 Dam nit!" Echoed off the boulders.

The Mercenary turned to the source of the sound with one eyebrow raised.

The leet swam over to him and when it reached the tiny island shook itself dry. Then looked up at The Mercenary with it's huge eyes, blinked once and repeated its statement.

The Mercenary ignored the leet. Instead he shone his flashlight in the direction the leet had been. He snapped his flashlight off and waited for his eyes to adjust. Then he advanced toward the waterfall and stepped through it. He found himself standing in a small dark cave. If there was anyone there, his scanner had not picked it up. Scanners however were not 100% reliable. He withdrew his weapon, stepped to the right, squatted and turned on his flashlight. Quickly scanning right to left, his weapon at the ready, he was greeted by an empty cave. If there had been someone here they'd covered there tracks well. Even if someone was hiding in the far corners of the cave, he couldn't reach them due to his large size. Exiting the cave, he headed back to the island where the leet enthusiastically greeted him. Squatting down he rubbed the leet's head and felt the warmth of the ground below him.

"I'll be a son of a heckler!"

Snapping his flashlight on he took a closer look at the ground beneath him. He couldn't believe his eyes. So focused upon this discovery and it's meaning he hadn't noted the leet had taken off exclaiming as it went "Sum of heckler!" "Lub j00 Dam nit!"

"She's here." Was his only thought. He turned toward the waterfall, a smile tugging the corners of his lips, and whispered, "Tag you're it."

He then waded across the water to the opposite side of the waterfall. He climbed up the boulder until he found a nice perch for the night. He sat there starring unblinkingly toward the cave opening anticipating his meeting with the doctor.

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