The Dark Half 2: Lucky Stars

This is a Flash Fiction challenge courtesy of Chuck Wendig over at his Terrible Minds blog. The Challenge is this: Write a story about Luck. So… Sequel time!

*Psst… Here’s part 1*

“Take them down! Take them do-”

The gangster’s head exploded from concentrated microwave fire. The extra crispy gunman fell over the rail to the furnace pipes below, denting them with a loud thud. Another one found a throwing spike in his throat and fell over, dead. The rest panicked. Whoever these two intruders were, they were good.

“Fall back or something,” one of the gangsters said.

“Where?” another gangster asked before his leg cooked clean off from a microwave sniper hit.

“Damn it! Run!”

The remaining gangsters turned tail quick after that. Emilio dislodged the spent fuel cell from his microwave sniper and snapped a new one in place. “You know, I thought taking Central Forge would be a lot harder,” he said.

“Let us not fall prey to overconfidence, friend,” the warlord said.

“Fair enough. How you doing on spikes?” Emilio asked.

“I’m recovering them where I can, but soon I’ll be out,” the warlord replied.

“Let’s get this over with quickly then.”

The two men made their way to the end of the catwalk. In the boiler room beyond, the gangsters had regrouped and awaited with weapons trained on the doorway. The lights flickered, ventilation fans whined. The gangsters held their breath. A gas pipe hiccuped and one them fired, scaring the others and making them shoot too. After a moment they realized their mistake and stopped.

“Damn it, Tulane,” a Venusian thug said before his chest exploded out his back.

The warlord dropped down from above, landing on an unfortunate thug, and began his lethal dance. Half a dozen were down in seconds, holding stumps where hands and feet had been. In a desperate last ditch effort, a Mercurial thug lunged at the warlord with spiked fists raised and ready to fight. The warlord saw his slow motion approach, unsheathed his mono-molecular Barsumi blade, and in one clean motion sliced the thug in two. The two halves of the thug continued to sail by him, neither half realizing he was dead yet.

Emilio continued his target practice from a safe distance. He didn’t have much trouble since his targets were distracted at the moment. He almost didn’t notice the thugs sneaking up on him. He ducked just as a Titanian with a metal pipe swung for his head. Emilio turned on his knee and shot him in the genitals with a plasma rod (outfitted with pistol grip for easier Earthman use, of course). A Neptunian thug with a pierced dorsal fin decided to get fancy with a reverse flip kick. Emilio leaned back out of range of the kick and slammed his fist down on the thug’s head when he came back up. Another one, a Plutonian by the looks of him, came at him with a machete. Emilio blocked the crude weapon with his sniper rifle, rendering both useless. He followed up with a barrage of plasma fire, then drawing a lightning pistol he went guns akimbo, lighting up the hallway with plasma green and lightning blue and the screams of his attackers.

Already more were converging on their location. They both knew they couldn’t keep this up forever, but neither had a clue where the Neptunian gang leader was hiding out. They met on a landing near a vat of industrial chemicals. They both agreed the mostly likely place she was hiding was the uppermost office area, but going there revealed no Neptunian gang leader.

“You don’t think Boss Lin fed us a line of bullcrap, do you?” Emilio asked as he thumbed through dusty ledgers.

“The possibility is there, however, I feel perhaps we should continue our search. She wouldn’t leave where she feels most safe,” said the warlord.

“Yeah. Where would that be in this place?” Emilio wondered. They both came to the same conclusion at once.

“Underground!” they said.

Down the stairs they went, fighting wave after wave of well paid gangsters and thugs. They only sustained minor injuries, but the warlord knew their luck couldn’t last long, even with his hardy Martian silk and Emilio’s Earthman protective bioplastic coverings. Finally they reached a massive chamber where the lunar-thermal intake pipes met the refining engines; where the natural heat of this moon was concentrated and piped to the rest of Limyt and the Dark Half beyond.

Emilio saw her first. She was sitting in a makeshift throne, surrounded by viewscreens, listening to close advisors as they whispered in her ears. When she saw them in return, she raised a dainty webbed hand which silenced her entourage. After a few words that Emilio and the warlord were too far away to hear, one of her underlings stepped forward.

It was a Jovian, massive even for his colossal kin. He was well over 550 lbs, all of it pure muscle. He wore chrome gauntlets, chrome greaves, and what would pass for a barbarian’s outfit on Shattered Earth made from darkened leather. He leapt and landed mere yards away from the two of them, cracking his knuckles with a twisted grin.

“I hope you’re ready for this,” the warlord said.

“I am,” Emilio replied. “This was always how it was going to be. I was born under the unluckiest stars in the sky.”

“When is the day of your birth?” the warlord asked.

“Third of Thermador. Year 256,” Emilio replied.

“On Shattered Earth?” the warlord asked.

“Yeah. San Diejuana, South Megalopoli,” Emilio replied. The warlord did some quick astro calculations in his head.

“The sign of the turtle, correct?”

“Yeah,” said Emilio.

“Wrong. Where you were born, the sign is reversed. In actuality, you were born under the sign of the rabbit. The luckiest sign there is,” said the warlord. Emilio nodded slowly.

“Oh. Well that explains a few things.”

“Talking’s done. I’m going to rip you to pieces,” said the Jovian.

“Try it, little man! You better thank your lucky stars that you happen to face some rather generous guys. So here’s your chance to get out of here before we start breaking folks,” Emilio said, filled with a newfound confidence. The Jovian picked up a steel beam and bent it into a gnarled, twisted bow. “You know, I got a lot of the last couple of dudes. I’ll let you have this one,” Emilio said to the warlord.

“It’s fine, my friend. Here, let me show you how I earned the name Giant Slayer,” the warlord said, unsheathing two void swords and approaching his ultimate fate.

*Part 3*

2 thoughts on “The Dark Half 2: Lucky Stars

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