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The Recollection Of Meira

Chapter 2


So that was how the whole thing started. To make a long, drawn out, and ridiculously boring story short, I was accepted into the Hunters' Guild, and given a Purplenum section ID, to go with my locker at the check room. So, I reported back to that sassy checkroom lady, and told her to put all of Randon's stuff in my locker.

After all, of that, I sat down at a cafe to eat some lunch, and examine the equipment that the Hunters' Guild had supplied me with. A new frame and a scrappy Photon Saber. The Saber actually looked like it'd been recovered from a thousand hunters before me. Glad to see that it evidently served them well-- I'd hoped that it would serve me a bit better.

I put the saber away, and looked up from my burger and at the electronics shop across the street. A large android with a head shaped like some deranged vehicle's antenna came out carrying a large bag full of what I can only imagine was probably spare parts. Why is it that whenever you're looking at someone, they somehow know that you're committing this heinousness, and immediately look back at you? For reasons that I would discover just a few minutes later, the walking barge clunked and clanked its way across the street, and sat down across from me.

"Hello there," it said to me.

I held up a finger, and hurriedly finished the bite I'd taken. "Hello..." I said back to it. Had I known this guy already, I probably would've said something more like, "Go away!" or maybe "How ya doin'?" At this point, I really only wanted to know what he wanted from me.

"That a new section ID?" he asked. I guess it must've been extra shiny, in those days.

I started taking the defensive. "Yes. Why?" I replied.

He finally set down his bag, which rattled as it settled its weight on the concrete, and nearly tipped its contents out. He said, "Well, I've been in the business for a while, and I figure that I might show you the ropes. If you're willing to run around on the planet with a RAcast, that is. My name's Zeirom, by the way. What's yours?"

At this point, I took his offer for granted, and became a little friendlier. I told him, "My name's Meira. I suppose you'd consider me to be a new hunter. I just got my section ID, today... But I used to live with a HUmar, so I know a bit. I think." I nerded out. "Anyway, I suppose I could use some help. After all, in this business, the best thing you can have is a friend. A walking armored tank certainly looks good on the guest list. I mean... You're certainly BIG enough to be called a tank."

I could have sworn that he smirked at this point. Except that, his face never was articulated very well. "You think I'm big?" he asked. Just then, his bag tipped over, and the neon-green breastplates for a female android fell out. We both looked. I looked back at him. He looked back at me. Again, his face isn't articulated very well, but nonetheless, his chin-piece moved down, opening his mouth, as if intended to reveal a set of grinning teeth, which was never there. That sort of embarrassed grin.

After lunch, we went to the Hunters' Guild in the Viridia section. Yeah, I remembered this deck, and I remembered that irritating slut behind the Guild desk in this section, too. For the sake of civility in front of my new friend, I decided to ignore my past experiences with her, and pretended that I didn't know her. About that time, another android stepped up. This one was just as tall, if not taller, but not quite so bulky. Sleeker. This one was built for speed, I just knew it.

The only thing about this android was that I swear he was having a huge spazz-attack, or something. Very hyperactive, and constantly chanting the word, "KILL!" He approached us, and suddenly was able to contain himself for a moment. "Hello, Zeirom. How are you, today?" he said. That guy freaked me out. His sudden stop was almost as startling as his sudden appearance.

Zeirom turned his oblong head at the sleeker android, who I eventually figured out was a HUcast. "I'm doing as well as can be expected, Dragoon. Have you met Meira?" he said. I almost wished he hadn't.

It was at that point that Dragoon jerked his head in my direction. After eyeing me for a moment, he slowly began to lean toward me. He lifted a hand, and poked my forehead, just before a sudden quick movement toward me that made me jump. He kept moving around me, until he had me backed up in a corner. His blunt face moved up and down, inches from my body, and every time he moved his head, the rest off his own body had to exaggerate the movements. I swear, if he had a nose, he would've been sniffing me. Finally, after an unreasonably long time, he backed off. He looked at Zeirom and said, "She's alive! Flesh!"

I didn't give Zeirom an opportunity to speak. "Of COURSE I'm alive, you aluminum monkey! I would've SLAPPED you, if I thought I could've done it without hurting myself!" I said. Truthfully, it was about the point at which he said that I'm alive that I would've had the nerve to slap him. Before that, he just scared the begeezers out of me.

Zeirom shook his head, and in doing so, reminded me very much of an old-fashioned radar. "Let's just take a mission from the guild, and head down to Ragol," he said. Dragoon at that point emit a noise, which I can only describe as chilling, but somehow resembled the words, "MOP-UP," though quite urgently, and even to the point of sounding unnaturally excited.

Zeirom talked to the woman behind the desk with the unreasonably low-cut shirt collar. What exactly he said to her, I wasn't sure, because I stopped paying attention, looking out the window at the planet, and half watching Dragoon's reflection, to make sure that he didn't try anything.

After a moment, a soldier walked in, and told us, "I'm a lieutenant in the 32nd WORKS division of the Pioneer 2 outer space task force." I instantly lost respect for the poor guy. "Pioneer 2's army is ill-equipped, so we ask hunters to help out. I received the council's order to go to Ragol to do some research. So I want your help. Sweep the forest around the Dome for monsters, then I'll send my unit. The mission will start in 5 minutes. Finish your duties before the mission starts. I admit that our soldiers are too weak. Good luck." Who is this council, anyway? In any case, Dragoon ran off for the teleporter as soon as the lieutenant mentioned the forest around the Dome. Just needed to know where to go, I guess. Zeirom thanked the man for the wish of good luck, and he and I both went to the checkroom to retrieve our MAGs.

Down on the planet, the skirmish began. Finally, a chance to try out this rickety old photon saber. A couple good whacks felled a Booma, so I figured it was good enough for the time being. Dragoon and I rushed ahead, while Zeirom stayed back, and shot at things over our shoulders and between our legs.

Dragoon was insane on the battlefield. He'd pull out a sword, slash down five boomas with a single strike, then pick up their remains, and throw them at the on-coming wolves. It was strange, though. With each thing he killed, he became progressively more-- oh, what's the right word. Stoic. I guess that works. He became progressively more stoic. He was calming. With each thing he ripped apart with his bare hands, he became just that much more calm and his rage cooled by that much. After a while, his ear-busting chants of, "KILL! DEATH! HURT! CAUSE INNUMERABLE PAIN!" became seemingly out of place.

When it was all said and done, Dragoon had calmed extensively. He no longer darted around with the consistency that makes random number generators a popular tool, his stride was relaxed, and even his metallic voice became almost comforting. It was like he was someone else entirely. I knew it was too good to be true, though.

Back in the Guild, Dragoon went to collect his reward. As I walked in to pick up my reward as well, I overheard him talking to the secretary. "Hey," he said, "No offense but," I could see the lady start to back away, "I want to KIIIIIIIIIIILLLLL you!" I slapped my forehead. Dragoon continued, "It's nothing personal, and I won't, it's just.... I want to KIILLLL you! Not that this is uncommon, I want to kill everything I see..." He rambled on like that for a few more minutes. Finally, the secretary gave him his money, and he left. She was happy to see me, after having to deal with that.

On my way out, I watched Zeirom walk up to her, and accept his reward. He leaned over the counter, and spoke as if there were a microphone in her shirt. "I'd like to accept my reward." With a few choice words, the secretary pushed him back to the other side of the counter, and gave him his meseta. The massive RAcast pointed at her as he stepped away, made a clicking noise, and jerked that pointing finger of his, before joining me in the teleporter, back to the lobby.

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