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Nowhere to hide - Frederiksen has them now.
Submitted By Sprawl on 13/05/31
SYN3H Chronicles, Sprawl, THOSE THAT ROAM, Mars Explorer, SPI Systems 
This Document originally posted in the "SYN3H Chronicles" Group

Another blow thudded into Kruncher's skull. He fell to the floor again, clutching his throbbing forehead. Blood was spilling from his ear; he could hear nothing. He rolled over, his hands now raised above his face as a boot stamped down onto it. He choked on the blood gushng down his throat, crimson spittle spurting from his bloody mouth.
There was a pause. Was his torment over? Even temporarily? He regained his breath momentarily, and cranked his bruised eyelids open. The monstrous mercenary who had shown him this special treatment had withdrawn a few steps. In his place, stood the object of all Kruncher's hatred at this moment. Wilder Frederiksen. Scraggly black beard, coarse hands, and worn out combat gear. And eyes of pure menace. Mars' most wanted criminal in a nutshell.
Kruncher snarled at him, baring his teeth. Frederiksen smirked, raising a sleek combat knife. The gleaming steel glinted in Kruncher's eye and he blinked.
"So another group of vigilantes out for justice then?" he sneered. "Not so successful this time though, eh?" He crouched down next to the exhausted warrior, pointing the blade at him. "I want to take this knife and insert it here," he gestured to Kruncher's left ear. "And draw it all the way around to here." He drew the knife deftly from one ear to the other. Kruncher narrowed his eyes defiantly.
"Go ahead," he spat. Frederiksen stood, chuckling to himself.
"I will soon, don't you worry." He gestured to the guard, who approached Kruncher, and grabbed him by the straps on his kevlar vest. He lifted him up and threw him down into a rusty iron chair, which screeched back across the floor a couple feet when he landed.
"I do, however, need to know a few things," Frederiksen explained coolly. Kruncher stared at the stone tiles, ever brave. Frederiksen strode up to him, and wrenched his chin upwards, slamming his head against the wall. Kruncher blindly swung out at him, catching his cheek, but Frederiksen stepped back and kicked Kruncher back. Winded, he toppled off his chair. He crawled forward, but Frederiksen took the knife and plunged it down into his shoulder. Kruncher let out a roar of agony, and writhed in pain on the floor. Frederiksen watched his victim's suffering with a cold fury in his eyes.
In the corner, Flynn awoke with a start. Standing over him was a tall man armed with a Xinagen Pistol. The guard was standing slightly to his left, and had his attention focused on Kruncher, cackling like a hyena. Flynn, snarling, leapt up, snatching the pistol, bringing the butt down on the man's skull. He crumpled to the floor, motionless. He turned the weapon on a startled Frederiksen.
"Son of a -" Flynn fired a single shot. A green bolt flashed across the room. Frederiksen was lifted up and hurled back into the bricks. He slid down, and made no movements.
The third guard raised his rifle at Flynn. Flynn paused. The guard's finger began to squeeze the trigger. Suddenly he let out a yell and stumbled to the left, Frederiksen's blade protruding from his thigh. Kruncher, his great chest heaving, pulled out his own pistol and shot the guard in the side, knocking him over, unconscious. He rolled over slowly to look at the immobile Frederiksen.
"...dead...?" he managed to grunt hoarsely, turning his eyes back to Flynn. Flynn shooks his head.
"Xinagen," he replied. "Low-power stun round - they'll wake up soon." He had a quick glance around the room, massaging his head gently. "Damn this hurts," he muttered. "We need to find Sitfig." He came to his friend, and extended his arm. Kruncher grasped it, and Flynn hauled him up, patting him on the back. Kruncher nodded heavily.
"I'll be alright, old friend," he growled. "Let's move."
* * * *
A navy-blue F-27 Whirlwind danced in the dazzling sunlight. Lasers whizzed around it, but it was untouched, darting here and there, rolling over and diving. Ace was no run-of-the-mill jet pilot. He was one of IASA's finest, in the same league as some of the greats, including Firestar and Stryker, two of the leading IASA pilots - but Ace had one up on them: he was actually on Mars, in the thick of it. They were stuck on earth mostly doing paperwork. What boring lives they must have, Ace thought, as he weaved his way deftly through a sea of enemy jets. Sven, at the main gunning position, fired round after round into the midst of the swarm. Occasionally he hit a target, but this was a tough job - the winds were strong and Ace was changing direction every other second. Picard sat with Ace in the co-pilot's seat. As they hurtled across the Martian icefields, Picard noticed a large black jet break away from the pack, and speed off into the distance. 
Picard remembered their encounter with a very similar looking jet near the Tnassa Mountains earlier that day. He pointed it out hurreidly to Ace.
"Follow that jet." Ace took note, and jammed the throttle to full. The jet's engines roared, and blue flames billowed from them.
"You're on, Picard." The jet tore across the glaciers, churning up clouds of powdered ice behind them.
* * * *
Flynn and Kruncher, the dynamic duo, were more damaged than they had been for years.
But it's damn well worth it, thought Kruncher, grinning to himself. They limped down corridor after corridor, breathing harshly. Eventually, they happened upon a locked room. Kruncher stood back, then barelled towards it with the full weight of his Herculean body.

The steel lock snapped like a twig and the door was ripped off its hinges, clattering to the ground. Kruncher raised his eyebrows, as Flynn edged in behind him, laughing heartily.
"My God, Krunch," he patted him on the back again. "You need to lose some weight." Kruncher inhaled sharply.
"It's all muscle," he grumbled. Then he scowled. "And don't call me Krunch. It'll never catch on."
"Okay, Krunch," Flynn chuckled, dodging a blow from his friend.

Sitfig lay on a rough wooden bench, eyes fixed on them.
"That's an entrance," he clapped for Kruncher. "Congrats." He stood, whipping out an old revolver pistol from his back pocket. Both Flynn and Kruncher gasped quietly.
"That's an old gun," Flynn said slowly. "There's no stun setting." Sitfig cocked his head to one side, sliding out six bullets from his combat vest.
"Do you really think," he asked coldly. "That your non-killing policy is going to get us anywhere?"
Kruncher shook his head in disbelief.
"You fool," he muttered, subdued. He stepped closer, as Sitfig placed a bullet in the chamber deliberately. "We've come this far, and you're going to change the whole game."
Sitfig laughed harshly.
"Change the game? I'm not changing the game. I'm playing it the way they do. If you don't play dirty, you'll drown in the mud." Kruncher seized the barrel of the Colt .45, and stared into Sitfig's eyes.
"You can, you should - you must do this without killing. Many of these men are just doing their jobs. They earn their living his way."
"And I earn mine THIS way!" Sitfig wrenched the gun from Kruncher's hands and trained it on him. Kruncher's eyes bulged with rage.
"On me? You turn that gun on me?" His words were delivered staccato and dripped with a furious passion.
"YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!" Sitfig yelled. "You think I'm the good guy? I'm just like him, like Frederiksen! Just he's in there with them and I'm in here with you."
Kruncher, incredulous, stood frozen.
"Bounty hunters." The words slid off his tongue with disgust. "All the god damn same."
Sitfig groaned in frustration. "This is my mission! My purpose!" the bounty hunter cried. "I'm going in there to finish Frederiksen. You can go and do what you want, but I will end his life today." He slotted in the last bullet and spun the chamber. "Get in my way, and you'll end up no different." Kruncher moved to stop him from leaving, but Flynn placed his hand on his friend's shoulder, glaring at Sitfig with the glint of disappointment in his eyes.
"Stand down, friend. Let him do it. Alone. It'll be on his conscience forever." Sitfig, tense and quivering with anger, swept past them, out of the cell. Kruncher sat on the bench, head in hands.
Flynn sat next to him.
"He's still a valuable ally." Kruncher whirled around.
"Really? You really believe that? He just threatened to bump me off for his own ends." Kruncher began shaking his head again in despair. Flynn sighed.
"I don't know," he admitted, honestly. "There's one question I need answered though." Kruncher raised an eyebrow half-interestedly. "We were in the interrogation room being beaten the crap out of by Frederiksen's goons." Kruncher straightened up.
"So why was Sitfig in here?"
* * * *
The black jet soared across the rocky landscape. Behind it, Ace spun his jet, dodging laser after laser.
"Sven!" he bellowed. "Let off the EMP charge." In the rear of the ship, Sven abandoned the gunner's position, just as a drakonium laser singed the compartment. He tapped in a code and a chest opened up. He hauled out a launcher, and hurried up to the gunning deck. Ace swerved the jet to the left, and Sven grabbed onto a handrail for support. He reached the top, and pulled himself halfway out into the air, raising the launcher.
"Here goes!" he called down. Ace set the jet to rapid descent. Sven's cheeks billowed in the raging winds. "FIRING CHARGE!" he roared.
A dark violet electric charge shot up from the launcher into the midst of the jets pursuing them. Ace brought the nose up, and their craft raced along the ground. Above them, the charge detonated. A purple shockwave swatted a number of Frederiksen's jets from the sky. They fell like dead flies. Sven ducked back inside and shut the hatch. Now their job was going to be a little easier.
* * * *
Sitfig entered the interrogation room. A guard was groggily regaining his senses. Sitfig raised his pistol at him. He was so ready to fire. But Kruncher's words echoed in his mind, as the guard's eyes widened in fear. Sitfig paused, then slammed the pistol into his head, knocking him back into unconsciousness. The other guard in the room, with a knife sticking out of his leg, wasn't waking up any time soon.
Frederiksen was slumped against the wall, breathing frantically. He looked up as Sitfig moved in on him.
"So," he croaked. Sitfig raised the revolver. Frederiksen forced a weak smile. "My bounty hunter friend. You have come to fulfil your mission." Sitfig knelt, and pressed the barrel into Frederiksen's neck.
Frederiksen, for the first time in an age, felt the tremors of real fear rocking his gut. But he didn't put up a fight. He felt like a broken man. Sitfig pressed the barrel in harder, and cocked the revolver.
Suddenly a shot rang out. Sitfig felt a bullet tear into his side. He yelled in pain and rolled over, firing his revolver wildly. Frederiksen, given a new lease of life, leapt up, towards his saviour. Sitfig pulled himself behind some boxes, catching sight of his attacker through a gap. Karn. The black-haired commando stalked through the room like a panther, rifle raised. Sitfig was injured. There was no fighting him. Not now that he'd wasted all his bullets so foolishly.
He reached for the knife in the guard's leg. Karn closed in on him like a hawk. Just as Karn was about to pounce, Sitfig leapt up and flung the knife at him. It only caught the skin of his arm, but it was enough. Karn reeled back, firing aimlessly, and Sitfig bolted for the door. Frederiksen tried to tackle him, but Sitfig drove a fist into his face and sprinted for the door as bullets ricocheted off the shoddy paintwork. He spotted Kruncher and Flynn ins a fistfight with some guards. He dropped his revolver and rushed in to help them.
Flynn acknowledged his return, and together they floored their aggressor.
"Run!" Flynn bellowed. Kruncher covered their escape with fire from his Zorenine rifle. "COME ON!" he roared, as they careened down a long set of stairs. The hangar lay before them. As they sped in, they found it empty.
"What the hell?" Kruncher exclaimed. "All the vehicles are out..."
"NO TIME!" Flynn cried. "MOVE!" They crossed the hanger, pursued by Frederiksen and Karn and a host of other armed goons. A bullet caught Flynn in the side of the shin, and he stumbled. Sitfig and Kruncher caught him, and he regained his balance, hissing in agaony. They raced out into the sunlight.
Flynn's heart almost stopped in horror. The tank - his custom made, almost impenetrable tank - was in flames. The treads had melted. Smoke enveloped it like a small volcano. Nevertheless, they needed to reach it. They ran for their lives across the choking dust.
Almost there...almost...
A colossal explosion erupted from the tank. Metal ripped apart and a wave of flame swept across the plain. It caught the three and hurled them backwards. They slammed into the ground with a shattering impact and lay there, broken.

Frederiksen and Karn arrived on the field, exhausted, flanked by a dozen mercenaries.

Flynn looked up at them in dread. The men raised their rifles but, to Flynn's shock, and theirs too it seemed, Frederiksen signalled for them to lower them again. He rolled up his sleeves and approached them.

"The three of you have proven to be formidable adversaries today," he shouted above the roar of flames. "But," he continued, as they rose wearily. "I am no coward. I won't let you leave here alive - but I will allow you to die with honour. He unfastened his military belt, and let it drop to the ground, weapons and all. He removed his combat vest. Flynn let his jaw drop slightly.
"You will fight us in single combat?" Frederiksen laughed.
"I will not be alone." Karn approached the scene, similarly - if a little reluctantly - stripping off his weapons.

Kruncher, blood still trickling from his deepest wounds, allowed himself a little immodesty.
"You've barely stood a chance against us today," he growled tauntingly. "You think the two of you can face the three of us and survive?"
"Who said anything about two?" a deep voice boomed from their right. The three whirled around. A large black jet was hovering not far off the ground. From the descent ladder hung the Goliath they knew as Brotos.
Kruncher cracked his neck ferociously.
"It's about time we had some real game," he spat into the crimson dust. Brotos roared with laughter, and leapt from the ladder, flexing his muscles. Kruncher pounded his palm into his fist, and began to move towards his arch-enemy, who began to do the same. Flynn and Sitfig turned to Karn and Frederiksen.
"You're on," said Flynn. He charged forward. Sitfig dashed onto his flank, and Kruncher and Brotos hurtled towards each other bellowing war-cries. The standoff had begun.

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1 week - 32,767v
Posted 2013/06/01 - 5:18 GMT

Man! These are SO COOL!
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4 days - 9,791v
Posted 2013/06/01 - 15:14 GMT
Only one thing to say here - I'm loving it, keep up the fantastic work, Sprawl!

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