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Symbiosis

"Finally!" Ryker exclaimed as he spreads his arms apart. "I can breathe fresh air again!"

He, Jackal and Zera have made their way back to the Black Stallion.

"Well?" Jackal turned to the vampire. "What do you think of Stally?" He asked with a grin as he puffs out his chest.

Zera scans the cruiser momentarily before setting her gaze back to its captain. "She's as vibrant as ever." She remarked with a smile.

Ryker wore a stoic expression as he glances at the two. 'Why are they talking as if the cruiser is a living thing?'

Just then, Ming approached them.

"Ming..." Zera said in a cold tone.

Ryker felt a chill run down his spine. She gave off the same vibe as earlier when they met. The look was aimed at the android yet he felt restless.

"Zera..." Ming responded in a similar manner.

"I see Jackie still hasn't taken you for recycling."

"I see you're still trying to pass off as a young and beautiful woman despite being an old hag."

A vein popped on the vampire's head. Zera gritted her teeth and leaned closer until her forehead was touching the android's.

"Old hag? I'll have you know, I'm only a hundred and twelve!"

Ming smirked. "Like I said, old hag."

"That's it."

Zera's astral energy enveloped her.

"Blue Astral?" Ryker muttered to himself. "She's an aura user!?"

As if on cue, Ming activated her astral skin as well. Hers was a bright green colour which quickly enveloped her.

"I've never seen these colours before," Ryker noted to himself almost forgetting about the dominating presence of the two women.

"Ehem." Jackal coughed getting the attention of the women.

Their astral skins faded as they looked at him.

"Haha," The captain laughed. "It's great to see that some things never change.

Ryker dropped his jaw. 'Those two were ready to rip each other to shreds yet he stopped them by merely coughing?'

Every passing day, Ryker finds Jackal more amusing.

'Sometimes I question myself whether a clown-like him can be who he says he is. And sometimes, I'm amazed by his character and demeanour. Jackal Night... Just who exactly are you?'

"Are you done with the maintenance, Ming?"

"Yes sir, the Stallion is ready for another space warp," Ming stated before darting Zera a look. "Is she going to be coming with us?"

Zera chuckled.

"Someone's scared I'll have all of Jackie' s attention."

Jackal laughed sheepishly before deciding to address Ming's question.

"I'm afraid Zera won't be coming with us."

Ming smiled. "Good. It'll be too much to handle more than one pest."

"Hey!" Ryker retorted. "I'm not a pest you stupid scrap metal!"

Ming didn't pay heed to Ryker. Zera on the other hand wore a smug expression.

"Glad to see you're not backing the wrong horse, kid."

"Can we proceed with what you're here for?" Ming asked.

Jackal led the crew to a dark room.

"Where are we?" Said Ryker not liking the eerie darkness.

The captain of the Black Stallion clapped his hands and the room became brightened by the light bulbs dangling from the top.

"This is where we kept her," Jackal said to Ryker as he gestures for them to follow him.

They walked further into the room until they stumbled upon a cell.

Ryker's facial expression darkened as he clenched his teeth. "Is she there?" His voice dripping with rage.

"Yup." Jackal pulled out a key from his coat to unlock the cell door.

They went inside to see Mysty chained in the middle of the cell.

Her wrists were cuffed with chains that stretched to the far sides of the cell.

"Wakey-wakey, hex woman." Jackal teased.

Mysty raised her head. She was covered in bruises and had a huge bump on her forehead.

She clicked her tongue. "What do you want?"

'Detecting rising rage.' Ming turned to Ryker.

He was trying his best to control himself from pouncing at Mysty like a wild animal.

"Meet my good ol' friend, Zee. She's a Vampire from the planet Feratus."

Mysty gasped having grasped what Jackal was planning.

"B-but the Feratus Vampires are a part of the Confederation just like the BSA! what could sh-"

It was at this point that Mysty recognized Zera.

"It cannot be." She scanned the vampire woman in front of her.

"You're... Blood Shot Zera!"

'She's talking as if she'd seen a ghost.' Ryker thought to himself.

"How?" Mysty looked at Jackal. "It was reported that Blood Shot was killed 7 years ago."

"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, lass." Jackal wiggled his finger. "As you can see, Zee is alive and well." His usual smile transformed into a more malefic one.

"And she's going to feast upon you."

"Hihihi," Zera laughed as she crept closer to the chained hunter.

"I'm going to enjoy sucking your blood away and then, I'll make you my slave." She smacked her lips.

Ryker gasped. "Of course!" He turned to Jackal. "You had us bring the vampire so she could cast her hex on the witch."

"I'm amazed by how slow your brain works."

Ryker glared at Ming. He shrugged and continued.

"Feratus Vampires can cast a mind-controlling hex on their victims by biting their necks."

"I refuse to be some vamps slave!"

Mysty struggled and tugged her chains as Zera grabbed her head.

"I doubted you for letting her live," Ryker admitted to the captain.

"Blinded by rage, I refused to see the bigger picture... That witch has a lot of information about the BSA but knowing her, she'd rather die than rattle out."

"I had Ming torture the lass for information but it was futile. Hence why I devised a plan to have Zera on board."

"Zera could make her a slave and command her to spit out all the information we need."

What amazes Ryker the most was how Jackal thought things through even when he had been unconscious.

"I rattled on and on about revenge but didn't even know where or how to start. You didn't have to do this."

"The captain has to look out for his crew... Use me and I'll use you. Didn't you say something like that a while ago? A symbiotic engagement don't you agree? I'm merely investing in you. I hope to cash out gazillions when we're through here hehe."

Ryker didn't know what to make of Jackal.

'This man... I'm starting to see it now.'

Ryker smiled. "Yes, captain."

"Great!" Jackal clasped his hands.

"Now, let's get out of here and let Zera enjoy her meal."

He pushed Ming and Ryker out of the cell leaving a panicky Mysty to the clutches of the bloodthirsty Zera.

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