“Ugh, I‘m too well-known, these guys have got me coming in way too early,” Dehr said, checking his gauntlet clock, rubbing his eyes. He grunted again, the clock read 7:00 A.M. “I mean, I’ve been up way earlier before, it’s not that bad, but is it really necessary for me to come in at seven, come on.” Dehr grumble to himself, “What, do I gotta get this done by this afternoon, seriously?” Dehr grunted once more, “The reward better be good.”
“Please remove all weapons, or possibly harmful objects.” A red, robotic eye twitched to glance at Dehr. He was in the entry of a tall, grey, industrial-looking building. The mounted wall speaker and eye repeated “Please remove all weapons, or possibly harmful objects.” Dehr grunted, in a Yeah, yeah, hang on, kind of way, before reaching down to detach his cross-belts, he slipped them off, with Reipar and his plasma shotgun, and lowered them onto the table. The room was mostly white, apart from two armed guards in grey beside the door. This specific building was for criminal apprehension assignments and information, a.k.a. the bounty hunter and hitman central of Echidnaopolis. Dehr knelt and unstrapped dagger pouches, hatchets, dirks, and side pouches full of shuriken sets and kunai pouches. He detached the dart shooter, flamethrower, and folding blade from his gauntlet, along with the small dagger from his belt buckle. He walked through a scanner, it bleeped uproariously, Dehr turned, knelt again, lifted his pant leg and unstrapped a large throwing knife from his shin, he did the same with his other shin, then sat to detach a retractable blade from his left boot. He walked through once more, no beeping, a small, reassured smile fluttered on Dehr’s face for a short moment. He was admitted through the door and led by two more guard down a long hallway, past a secretary, and into a medium sized room, with two chairs, a table, and an obviously one-way dry erase board.
A broad-shouldered, graying echidna entered, and dropped an insanely thick, manila folder in front of Dehr, who had already sat and put his feet up. The official pulled out the seat on the opposite side of the chrome table. “I don’t understand it,” the older echidna said after chuckling to himself, “all the bounty hunters come in, big, hairy guys with guns, ladies with lipstick and whips, I dunno how the hell it happened, but you’re supposedly good at what you do?” He asked, really questioning himself more than Dehr.
“Well, they say you have to like what you do, captain” Dehr said dryly.
“Yeah, we’ve had this conversation before, now, to the fun business part of our regular meetings.” the captain said, gesturing to the folder. “This guys big,” he began, “not just physically, but in the crime world as well, he’s the leader of the Iron Fists; a huge gang, really all over the place, but mostly focused in a large city on the edge of the Mobian Badlands. We can’t really pinpoint his location, or his main base’s for that matter, but we know that we’ve been looking for him with the sharpest eyes the planet’s law enforcement can offer. He most likely wouldn’t leave his hideout, unless he’s up to something. All we know is in that folder.” Dehr reached for it, untwisting the string and flipping it open. “This guy is…well, he’s been in for almost everything. Drug dealing, armed robbery, murder, assault, defacing officers, causing riots, even public urination and speeding.” He said, as Dehr read along the list of those and many others.
“What?!” Dehr looked up, he glanced back to see the last two mentioned at the very bottom.
“He started out small, a long time ago, y’know, just as a trouble maker.” the captain replied, “But he’s obviously gotten a little worse.” he joked. “But seriously, this guy’s no joke, he’s definitely one of the worst-”
“You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve heard that.” Dehr said, without looking from the file.
“Stop joking around, this is the biggest we’ve ever given you, some of our boys think you can take him, but others have seen him tear other hunters apart, literally.” He turned, stone-faced. “ Not only is he surrounded by one of the biggest crook organizations on record, he’s seven foot four, over three hundred pounds-” he began listing from memory.
“Crocodile, dark green, known as “The Fist”, “The Iron Fist”, or “The Red Fist”, real name: Red Stogen ,served eight years total, got his own cabinet in the criminal records room, hmmmm, killed his cousin, ouch, he’s recruited over five thousand henchies…“ he mumbled a few more to himself, “yup, that’s a lotta crap.” Dehr flipped more pages, and stopped to stare deeply at the only picture on file of Red Stogen. A monstrous, dark crocodile. His teeth like a normal crocodile, his eyes deep set and dark, a black tattoo of a large, brass knuckled fist on his right shoulder, his mouth level with the “7 inches” line on the wall. Dehr scanned the picture with his gauntlet, glanced at the scanned copy on the screen, and closed it. Dehr quickly became bored after the usual “Why you? You’re a kid!”, the info on the subject, and the warning of the danger. Dehr flopped the folder closed on the table, leaned back, resting his feet on the table with aclink. He slipped a small throwing dagger from the middle of the underside of his gauntlet. He stared once more at the mugshot photograph, Why?, he questioned the picture. He then lifted the dagger and began slowly slicing the picture into thin shreds, watching the shreds fall as the slicing line drew closer and closer to Red’s head.
“Hey, you do know that’s the only good picture we have of him, right?” the captain said, relatively calm. Dehr flipped open his gauntlet screen to show he’s already scanned it.
“Don’t worry yourself, you won’t be needing this, or this file, when I’m back.” Dehr replied, still slicing.
“But it’s best that-hey! How’d you get that past secur-” He said jumping over to a large red button on the wall.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Dehr said, gesturing to calm down, “No need to call the fuzz.” He said calmly. Lowering his feet, he leaned forward and stabbed the knife deep into the table, the ring resounded, the blade quivering in the table.
“Fine…just, get out.” The captain exhaled deeply, Dehr slid his knife out of the table and walked away, opening the door. “Hey.” The captain said, standing up, Dehr turned.
“What?” He said, expressionless.
“20,000 rings. Good luck.” The captain replied half-heartedly.
Dehr closed the door and began walking back down the hallway, unaccompanied this time. “Hmmmm, concern?”