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The Sniper

LOCATION: RED WINE GALAXY, PLANET DARTH. 

"Okay, I think my nose just died." Ryker pinched his nose as he and Jackal walked through the cyberpunk-style planet.

"What? Nonsense, that's adventure you're perceiving, snow-white." Jackal deeply inhales and breathes out through his mouth. 

"If this is how adventure smells like... I'd rather take my chances with a black hole."

Jackal smirked. "Well, if you want. You can go back to the ship to help Ming with some maintenance."

Ryker felt a chill run through his spine. The mere thought of working with the android whom he despised made him feel like throwing up. Or maybe, it's the stench around him. "I hate you." He muttered. 

"What's that?" Jackal perked his ears.

"What are we doing here anyway?" Ryker scanned their surroundings. They were currently at a marketplace. 

"This place is filled with notorious criminals... Pirates, mercenaries and thieves. I recognise most of them from the bounty hunter wanted list in the database." 

"It's normal to see criminals here. Red Wine is a galaxy devoid of a colony, association and or officials to enforce the law. Hence why it's called a lawless space zone. Anything here goes. You want someone to disappear without a trace, kill them here. You want items salvaged from important places, you can probably buy them here. This is Red Wine. And this here planet is the centre of it. "

Ryker pondered for a while. "By salvage, you mean stolen." He uttered.

"You've got that right, snow-white." 

"Oh great." He rolled his eyes. 

They stopped in front of a shabby looking store with a cranky door. 

"We're here!" 

"..." 

"..." 

"I'm heading back to the ship now." 

Ryker turns tail only for Jackal to grab him by the collar from behind. "Oh come on, we made it all the way here. You can't possibly go back without seeing what's inside." 

"There's no way in hell that I'm going into that building." Ryker shook his head. "That place looks like it could fall off at any point!"

"What? That's preposterous! This place here is perfectly fine. Come on, don't be a chicken. Would you rather be with Ming than here?" 

"If it means I won't die by being crushed by a poorly erected building, yes," Ryker said nonchalantly. 

A few moments later... 

"This is an abuse of my rights!" 

Ryker was clawing against the floor in a helpless bid to pry himself away from the clutches of his captain. 

Jackal dragged the former hunter into the store much to his dismay. 

"I hate you." 

"Haha. See? That wasn't bad now was it?" 

"I'll say it again, I hate you." 

The store, unlike its exterior, was well-kept. It had several antiques and pieces of furniture. 

"Woah," Ryker scanned the place. 

"Haha, I told you this place was nice!" 

"I've got to admit... So far, it's the cleanest place on this planet. It doesn't even stink here. And look at these antiques." 

"Who's there!?" 

The voice of a woman was heard from behind the single door that was on the other side of the store. 

"It's me, Jackal." 

Crack! 

The sound of a gun being cracked could be heard. 

Bam! 

"Ahh!" Ryker cowered to the floor covering his head. 

"Huh?" He raises his head to see Jackal with his hand stretched out. 

Ryker looked at the man's hand and gasped. 'He caught the bullet!?'

"Well, I'll be damned." A woman with pale skin walked through the door holding a shotgun. 

She wore a sleeveless Black top and a white mini skirt. The most noticeable feature on the woman's body was her pointed fangs. 

"A Vampire?" Ryker Muttered to himself. 

"Not just anybody could stop a solid bullet." She said throwing the gun aside. 

"Are you nuts!?" Ryker snapped. "You don't just shoot at customers like that!" 

The woman shrugged him off as she walked toward Jackal. 

Ryker felt the atmosphere of the room change. The two of them exchanged cold looks. 

'It's uncommon for that maniac to look so serious. And this woman... She's strong, I don't know how I'm able to tell. But, She's damn strong.' It was as if he could see an invisible aura around them. 

What happened next had him dropping his jaw. 

The two burst into a stream of uncomfortable laughter almost at the same time. 

"Jackie!" 

"Eh?" 

The woman pinched his cheeks. 

"Haha, nice to see you haven't lost your touch, Zera." 

"Eh!?" 

Ryker could only stare at the two of them. 

'Their attitudes took a complete 180!'

The pressure he felt from their previous demeanour was completely erased. 

It was as if they became different people. 

"What in the cosmos is going on here." He darts the two of them with a glance of annoyance. 

"Who's the polar bear?" 

A vein popped on Ryker's head. "Polar bear?" 

"Oh him?" Jackal pointed at him with his thumb. "He's snow white." 

Ryker comically plopped to the floor. 

"It's Ryker!" He snapped at the two of them. 

"Not Polar Bear, not Snow White, Ryker!!!" He exclaims making loud breathing. 

"He's a live one alright," Zera uttered unfazed by his proclamation. 

"Grr..." 

Jackal wrapped his arm around the annoyed Ryker. "This here is the former sniper of my crew. From the Vampire planet Feratus, Zera Farblood."

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