The Job.

The building looked old and unused. Any paint that may have been on it was long washed away, and the covering was rusted. Vines and trees grew around it, blocking most sunlight from entering. But at least it was well hidden, perfect for dealings that were meant to be kept secret.

Inside the building at the moment was a table, with two individuals seated at it, and another standing behind one of the two. The pair were both dressed in black, hooded robes that completely covered them. The other seemed to be dressed in weapons, and he was leaning his chair back on two legs, his feet propped up on the table. One of the robed individuals leaned forward to speak, and as he moved into the beam of light coming in towards the table, it illuminated his metal attachments.

“We’re glad you could come. We have a very important person we need back…”

“Well, I am a bounty hunter. I’m guessing you want this person alive right?” The lone figure spoke up, cutting off the Legionnaire, who nodded. “Pff, great, just what I need. Why can’t you do it yourself? The great Dark Legion asking a lowly normal echidna for help, sounds kinda strange, doesn’t it?”

“Well you see, we don’t want to waste any man power on a traitor, and if we attempted to catch him with our methods we’d likely draw unwanted attention at this time.”

“Fine, whatever. What’s the bounty?”

The seated Legionnaire motioned to his partner, who placed a silver briefcase on the table, which when opened was revealed to be filled with money. “10,000 Mobiums. This half now, the other when the job is done.”

“That’s pretty good. Who exactly am I going after?”

“This is him,” the Legionnaire said, sliding forward a picture of a young echidna.

The bounty hunter leaned forward to get a closer look. “Are you kidding me? A freakin’ kid? Well, I guess I can’t really say that, he looks about my age, but still…”

“Don’t underestimate him, he’s tougher than we thought when he left. We hadn’t worried about him at first, but now that he’s working with the Guardian and his friends the Chaotix…”

“You’re sending me after someone with ties to the Chaotix? I mean, I could probably take them no problem,” the hunter said proudly, “but the Guardian could be tough if I ran into him.”

“Don’t worry, your bounty head has nothing but hatred for the Guardian. Will you take the job?”

There was a moment of silence, then a small knife suddenly whizzed through the air, stabbing into the picture. “He’s as good as dead.”

* * * * *

Ekajra was once again lying around the house, bored. Even though only a short while ago he’d “joined” the Chaotix, they, fortunately for Ekajra, hadn’t asked him to do anything yet. Unfortunately, that meant, as usual, he didn’t have anything to do. Chibi had been gone for a few days, in fact most of the Chao from that garden had been, and Alerak was busy working on random inventions.

“Man it’s boring around here…” Ekajra mumbled as he lay on the couch.

“Then go find some way to entertain yourself. You’re usually good at that,” Alerak said, as he worked on the cloaking device Espio had broken. “Just go take a walk through the woods or something.”

“Yeah, I guess. It’s not like I haven’t already done that five times today,” Ekajra exaggerated.

“Come on man, you know you only went through the forest twice today. Maybe something will happen. Third times the charm, and all that.”

“Well, I’ve got nothin’ better to do, might as well.” Ekajra began to step out the back window. “See yah,” he said as he jumped out and ran off for the trees.

* * * * *

“Now let’s see,” a figure said to himself as he perched momentarily in a high branch of a tree, his black overcoat fluttering in the breeze. He pulled out a picture, his knife hole in it. “This guy lives in Echidnaopolis, that’s obvious I guess. From the looks of him, I’d say he’s the kind of guy who gets bored pretty easily. I doubt I’d be able to find his house quickly and I want to get this job over with quickly. So…” he put away the picture, and readjusted the weaponry on his back. “I’ll get close to the city and wait for him.”

* * * * *

Ekajra was jumping through the trees, going branch to branch, ascending higher and higher, randomly talking to himself about random things. It’s what he does. “You know, it seems that whenever I’m bored something dramatic happens. My brother’s invention goes berserk, the Master Emerald breaks,” he said as he jumped up onto the top of a tree. He looked around for a moment, then closed his eyes. “And… now!” he yelled, opening his eyes and waving his hands around for emphasis. “Heh, guess not.” He jumped down off the tree back to ground level, and started to walk around.

* * * * *

The mercenary was jumping through the trees. “There he went! Gotta catch him… ahh, good. He went back to ground level.” He landed in a tree as his prey walked into a clearing. The assassin pulled out his shotgun and aimed. ‘This is such an easy shot’ he thought as he lined his sights with the back of his target’s head. ‘Aghh, but I can’t kill him… stupid alive only bounties, freakin’ annoying…’

* * * * *

Ekajra walked into a clearing. He paused for a moment, listening. He thought he’d heard a rustling. “Guess it’s nothing. Well, might as well head back home. Maybe I’ll stop by the garden and see if Chibi’s around.” He took a step towards the trees, but froze again as he heard another noise. It was a sort of low humming, barely audible even to Ekajra’s sensitive echidna ears. “That doesn’t sound good,” he said slowly. He didn’t even have time to turn around, however, as something seemed to explode behind him. He went flying a short distance across the clearing, before he slammed his fist onto the ground and slid through the dirt into a tree. He stood up and turned as a figure jumped out of a tree.

The person facing him was an echidna, his fur a slightly darker red than most, a sort of rusted color. He seemed to be a walking weapon, his body covered in bladed weapons of every sort. Fighting knifes, kunai, shuriken, a sword or two, a large battle-axe, even the smoking plasma shotgun in his hand had blades on it. His long black coat twisting in the breeze, he pulled his goggles off his eyes up onto his head. “Are you this guy, Ekajra?” he said, throwing a torn picture to Ekajra. He caught it, and sure enough, it was a picture of himself. He nodded.

“And you are?” he asked, putting the picture in his pocket.

“Name’s Dehr. And I’ve been hired to capture you,” he said, putting the shotgun back into it’s holster on his back. “Unfortunately alive.”

“Sorry to disappoint you,” Ekajra said, stealthily unhooking his chain.

“Yeah, well, whatever, since I can’t kill you we might as well have fun for a while,” Dehr said as he unhooked a small sword from the side of his leg.

“That’s a wakizishi, isn’t it? Aren’t those usually, like, back up weapons?”

“Usually, but I find their easier to carry around than some bigger sword. Plus they look pretty cool.”

“I guess you’re right there.”

“Plus, anything with a sharp edge is fine by me. But enough with the talk, how about we get down to the fighting?”

“Fine by me,” Ekajra said, flinging his arm forward, sending his chain flying towards Dehr. Dehr brought up the wakizishi quickly and wrapped the chain around it. He pulled back quickly, pulling Ekajra towards him through the air. Just as he was nearing Dehr, Ekajra drew his knife, slashing at Dehr.

In one fluid motion, Dehr let go of the sword, drew a large hunting knife, grabbed the sword again with his other hand, and blocked Ekajra’s slash. Ekajra spun around to get away from Dehr, and managed to twist the sword from his hand and pull back the chain. He got ready for Dehr’s next attack while he spun the chain back around his wrist. Dehr reached into pockets on each side of his coat and withdrew a large amount of shuriken, which he flung at Ekajra.

Ekajra pulled up his left arm, knocking the shuriken away, while Dehr ran at him again, holding two identical knifes that were outfitted with brass knuckles. Ekajra jumped back to avoid the first slash, then brought up his knife to block the next volleys. Dehr was moving too fast, coming down with each knife right after the other, for Ekajra to get in his own attack. Eventually however, Ekajra found a hole in the sequence and managed to twist around Dehr, delivering a roundhouse kick to his back.

“Now it’s my turn,” Ekajra said as he put away his knife, and grabbing Dehr before he could fully get up. He started to deliver a series of quick punches with his left arm. “I gotta hand it to the Guardian, his spike things do make punches hurt a lot more,” Ekajra said as he let go of Dehr, launching a focused punch to his gut, sending him sliding. Ekajra had to quickly duck, however, as Dehr had thrown three kunai straight for him. He dodged two of them, but the third landed on the ground just in front of him. “Heh, guess your aiming isn’t that good, eh?”

“Nope, that one was right on target,” Dehr said as he looked up from his kneeling position, dusting himself off. Ekajra looked down at the kunai, and on the handle was a small, flashing red light. A few seconds later, the kunai emitted a high pitch beep and exploded, knocking Ekajra back. “Ahh man, these grass stains aren’t gonna come out of my pants easily…” Dehr said to himself as he looked at his now green and black pants. “Eh, whatever.”

“Hey, don’t ignore me!” Ekajra yelled as he through a good sized tree branch at Dehr. Dehr ducked down, reaching behind him, and grabbed his large battle-axe, slashing the branch in half.

“Nice try. Say hello to Reipar,” Dehr said, swinging the axe around.

“Heh, hello Reipar,” Ekajra said, drawing his knife again. ‘This will be interesting,’ he thought as he looked between Dehr and Reipar and himself. ‘Yeah, definitely interesting…

————————————————————————————————————

Index.

Next Chapter.

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