Another planet, another shithole festering with low lives and individuals running for something or the other. Hot, sandy, nearly lifeless like many other planets used by the people who preferred them. In the middle of it, a ramshackle town resembling a mix of old west and advanced technology, lovingly called Rattlesnake Stop.
Why was it called that? Cause some dumbass actually brought rattlesnakes to a planet knowing full well they would do well in this environment. As if it didn't have enough hostile animals on this forgotten planet. In the midst of it, a gang arrived on hoverbikes. Upon seeing them, civilian workers and miners, and just about anyone who didn't wanna pick a fight went running inside to whatever building was closest to them. Doors were slammed shut as well as windows, nothing and no one to be around them.
The group consisted of a human, a dverg, a orc, what looked to be a dark elf, and a few other rugged looking goons. Most being human. Which wasn't a surprise given that humans had a tendency of out-populating most of the known universe with their stellar fast birthrates and need for exploration, as well as dominion.
After all, no one ever did well for themselves by doing nice.
The saloon doors opened and the music being played came to a screeching halt. The people inside were frozen with fear, rumor had it that a band of outlaws had been going around the planet and steering up all kinds of trouble. Some were even responsible for killing a few bounty hunters that tried to kill them. So perhaps they were right to feel like they ran the place wherever they went. In a society where might seemed to be the only consistent rule of law, everything else from diplomacy, and common understanding was hardly a thing to consider.
The pianist desperately tried to run off, but the human leader, wearing a cowboy hat and some getup that made him look like a desperado, snapped his fingers. "Ohhh no you don't boah. I need some entertainment round here'."
The dverg and the orc came to his side, and forced him back to his seat. "Sit." Demanded the orc in a firm tone. "Bartender, bring me a strong drink. And it better not be any of that pussy shit I caught you serving me last time." The round man nodded reluctantly but didn't dare voice his discontent. For he had watched this leader murder people for far less before.
Full grown men started leaving the bar at the sight of this leader. Indicating he was nothing to be trifled with around here. All except one hooded figure, that seemed to be sipping on what was clear whiskey.
"Ey. Mysterious Stranger lookin ass', off the bar." The bearded outlaw demanded.
But their was no response. Instead the cloaked figure just took another sip of his drink. Not paying him no mind.
"Hey! Did you listen to me? Or ya got sand in your ears?" The goons turned to face the commotion at the bar, the bartender peaking out silently praying that the figure would just leave.
Then the leader walked up and placed a hand on the figure's shoulder. "You should never ignore Mike and his Marauders'...bad things happen when you do." The leader said in the most hostile passive aggressive manner possible.
"Is that so....?" The figure said in a far more subtle manner.
"Yeah it is- so get o-" Suddenly the figure leapt up from his seat and smashed the glass across the leader's neck, slashing it open and leaving him gasping for air as he reached out towards his attacker. A tall, blue eyed man revealed to be clad in what looked to be modified trooper armor. The stuff only worn by grizzled veterans of Earth Federation forces.
His gang looked in shock as they watched their leader slump over the tall man, bleeding all over him. Before a loud cracking noise sounded from his stomach, high velocity rounds tearing through his stomach, as his body hit the ground with a hard thud.
The armored hooded figure stood with his black utilitarian semi auto handgun, in comparison to the engraved revolver of the bandit leader that was sprawled out on the floor.
The orc was the first to break the silence, as he came at him with a large sledgehammer like weapon. "Bastard! You! You die now!! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" The much larger orc came running to clobber the figure's skull, to which he sidestepped out of the way as the hammer came colliding with the bar. Splintering it into two complete halves. As he lifted the blunt weapon, he turned to face the barrel of shotgun pointed directly at him.
Before he could even express how fucked he was, the shotgun was fired, sending him flying into the wall. Leaving a bloodied messy gooey green splotch for someone to clean up as the massive humanoid beast came rolling to the floor. The armored man pumped the next round into the chamber, when a dagger was sent into his shoulder pouldron, but it didn't even pierce past armor. To the shock of the dark elf who threw it.
The man simply pried it out from it's intended mark, and tossed it to the ground. Before he could turn to aim his weapon however, the dark elf closed in and unleased a flurry of blows with a crude machete. To which all were easily dodged before their leg was swept from under them. Before he could even roll away however, the barrel of the shotgun was pressed against his neck.
"Waste of talent." The man said, before reducing the bandit's head into a pile of unrecognizable gore with a single trigger pull.
Then for a moment their was silence, as the hooded armored figure looked around the saloon. It was quiet, but the job wasn't done. Not yet, their was still the dverg and a few other guys no doubt hiding. He pumped the shotgun, and the moment he did another human gang member roared as they unloaded a automatic weapon into the room from up the balcony.
Acting quickly the armored man flipped a table and took cover. It was rudimentary, as he could feel rounds whizzing by his head. Then he heard the gang member's weapon click. "Shit!"
In that moment he peaked from cover and fired, landing a shot into his chest. Causing the man to scream in pain as he fell over, landing once again, onto the bar. Cleaning bill was gonna be a mess for whoever was involved.
Then another guy came running in, shouting and yelling as he opened fire with his semi auto in hopes to pin down the armored soldier, before being quickly dispatched as shotgun pellets ripped apart his throat. Causing him to kneel over and bleed out all over saloon.
Quiet once more, but it wasn't over yet. Their was still the dverg.
"Alright...where are you...?" Then suddenly, a grenade crashed threw the window.
"Oh fuck!!!" The armored man shouted as he ran to the saloon doors, narrowly escaping the blast as went off behind him. Knocking him down to the ground in the process. Then he felt someone small jump onto his back, followed by the feeling of them trying to drive a knife into his back.
"What the hell?! Kinda armor is this?!" Screamed the dverg as he desperately stabbed the back of the soldier, it doing absolutely nothing. Before being headbutted off into the dirty ground. His knife fell just away out of his reach, and he scampered to desperately grab it. Only for his hand to meet a black combat boot, it stepping on it so hard that one could hear the snapping of fingers.
"AAAAAAAGH BLOODY HELL!!!!!!" The dverg screamed, as he looked up. The hooded figure was no longer hooded. Instead he was clamored in all black armor designed for Federation Commandos. The helm covering the entire lower half of his face. How the hell did this guy get his hands on that?
"The fuck are you!?" Screamed the pained goon, realizing it was all over.
"I'm nobody friend, just like you. Absolutely no one." As the soldier raised shotgun to the forehead of the dverg. Before being blown away into the dust. Another bounty, done.
The armored man stood in the middle of the town road, and let out a breathe of fresh air. His shotgun disappeared in a digitized cluster seemingly out of nowhere. Of course, this was just a function of the game he was long since trapped in. He had friends when this all started, yet not even the common goal of survival could prevent petty disagreements from ripping them apart.
He then went back up to the bar, and what little remained of the saloon. As the grenade had practically decimated everything inside. It was a miracle that the building itself was still left standing. As he walked up to the bar, the barkeeper was still shivering from the intense firefight that took place in his establishment. Not that their was much left to begin with.
The armored man then placed what looked to be local currency. It was paper money, useless except in backwater planets were digital currency had little value for everyday civilians that lived within in it. "Keep the change." Said the armored man, as he quietly exited the building. Leaving the bartender taken aback as to what in the world he just witnessed.
The local populace then began to peak out, some catching him getting on a hoverbike of his own. It was a steel grey, and had a more industrial look to it. It was clear he favored practicality above all else. Maybe at one time he did enjoy style. But something must have happened that made him drastically change his preferences.
The armored man then left the town, in order to confirm his kill of that group. Whose names he'd already forgotten.
Arriving at another building seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but this one being a bit more advanced looking then the other. Upon entering, it's doors were clearly more refined and well taken care of in comparison. It was like a police station instead the police were far more privatized in nature. This world although rife in crime was also rich in resources despite it's inherit lawlessness. And some clearly were much better off then others.
"Heard you found that gang that was given us problems. Your effective, I'll give you that." Said a man in what looked like some duster jacket with a badge. Alongside a silver revolver of considerable size. He carried himself like a sheriff, but he clearly wasn't in charge. At least not fully. That would go to the man behind the desk, practically buried in his work.
"Ey boss. It's that space marine looking boy, he's back!" Called the enforcer.
To which the older, grey-haired man immediately got up from his desk and immediately went to greet him. This man looked to be in a more office related uniform. He was like a foreman of sorts within this side of the planet. One who answered to the 'governor' that ran it. Even so, one could tell it was a far from perfect system. As who in the their right mind would wanna run this dump?
"Well? I assume the reports I am getting are about you correct?" He said in a seemingly annoyed manner. But in truth he was just in a rush to get back to work.
The armored clad commando nodded. "Yep."
"In that case.." The older man brought up a wrist device that flared to life with a holographic hud. With a press of a few buttons, the armored commando's wallet had been topped off with a considerable amount of currency. It wasn't much compared to other jobs he had taken in the past, but it was still a decent amount considering.
"Alright. Now get out of here! There's a few dozen more gangs that need killing, and I need to handle all these complaints about 'worker abuse'!" The man scoffed at the very sentence. Clearly not happy with what he had to put up with in his position. Funny how even those seemingly in charge almost always had to answer to someone.
The armored man didn't even bother complaining. He was used to clients seeing him as expendable muscle even if he proved time and time over he was far from expendable. He made sure of that. As he had already made his way to his hoverbike.
Making his way across the desert, the soldier really had no idea where he was going. Frankly he had been here for about a month and had learned in that month how little everyone really cared about you. Even if you were good at killing, hostage rescue, demolitions, and sabotage, it didn't matter if their were many others just as competent as you if not more so. It was funny how him being forced to dip real world months of your time into this game quickly made sure you were good at it.
Prior to this he was certainly no pro, but now he was most certainly a competent player. But the question was, how long could he really keep himself alive like this? Prior he at least had a group of friends. Even managed to capture a spaceship that might as well have been a floating city. Now he had no one. Be it due to his ego, his hardheadedness, he had nobody now. But blaming himself certainly would not really do anything about it. So he stopped. Stopped blaming himself and others and just learned to roll with the punches in his own way.
No matter how hard they hit at times.
Then, gunshots began ricocheting off his bike. Narrowly missing him, snapping the trooper player out of his thoughts. He turned his head to see what looked to be three hoverbikes closing in on him. Bandits? He thought. No. Shots were too precise. They aren't aiming for me....
The group eventually caught up and surrounded him all sides. One of them pulling a firearm that was a little too high tech to be sold anywhere here. "I suggest you stop the bike friend!" He demanded. As he scanned around him, he realized all of them had their weapons drawn. Trying to fight them all didn't seem to be a smart idea. Plus they all had their own individual armor. So certainly not uniformed NPCs. Maybe Bounty Hunters? Perhaps. Maybe his past sins were finally catching up on him.
As they all came to a gradual stop. The three figures were surprisingly cohesive in their movements despite their clear individual class differences. One looked to be some type of elf, but he couldn't tell what type. Their get up was green, but they had some type of marksmen rifle trained on him in case he made any sudden movements. The other was a ork soldier, heavy assault class. Looked to be a mercenary. The leader meanwhile appeared to be a enigma. He seemed to be mainly human, however his height and stature were very peculiar. He seemed skinny, not weak skinny either. His body seemed to be covered head to toe in light armor however. Like he was a ranger or something like that. A scout even. His weapons seemed to be far lighter then even their elven marksmen.
"Bell. Pat him down." The light armored person ordered. As the orc heavy assault patted him for any weapons. To the commando's surprise, the ork managed to pull his digitized weapon storage. "He's got one of these." He said as he pried it from his back. "And this." He said as he pulled his semi automatic pistol. "Annnnnd this." He said, as he pulled an entire bandolier's worth of grenades.
"Alright. We're taking him with us, boss wants to see him. So Bell...do your thing." The heavy assault Orc cracked his knuckles and hit the black armored man with a punch so hard that everything went black.
Later....he slowly came to. It was dark now. But it wasn't nightfall. No he heard the subtle droning of a ship. Wherever he was, he was in space. Least they had the decency to leave his armor on. So that told him they were mannerly.
"Hey. Your man-thing's awake." He heard a rather snarky female Scottish accent. No doubt from the elf.
"Bout time. Worried I killed em for a sec." Said a more rugged voice.
"Hah, I didn't know you had mercy for humans Bell." This one had a free form tone to it. Casual even. One could say even neutral. A handsome rogue if you will.
"So the wandering soldier awakes at last." This guy sounded clearly human. Everything in his tone, to his stature, and even his walk. He sounded older. Much older. A Southern accent that was thick as one could get too. As the black armored man looked up from the steel floor below him.
"I think you and me got a long talk son." The grey haired veteran ask. Looks like Tom couldn't even be alone forever even he wanted to.
Merci pour la lecture!