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Things That Make You Go MMMMMM...


Sarah Tintagyl
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It was dark with a bright full moon over head as a pair of sneakers walked through the underbrush approaching the Artemis campsite in Hanseatic Manchuria. The territory which had just been wrestled from the Lu Rebellion, diversified from Yamatojin policies, was finally enjoying true freedom and was in the process of being handed to a new ruling body. The Zargathians, the self-proclaimed stewards of Yamato, but for the pair of sneakers that made their way across the dry grass of the steppe, not of that mattered at the moment. The gates were guarded and all access into the camp was cut off, except for a small hole in the picket line, nearby a small hill that the guards had over looked. "He'll be really mad." The sneakers said quietly to themselves. "When he finds out I got in by myself."

Signs that read, "AUTHORIZED ENTRANCE ONLY" ran around the campsite. But really, the sneakers had the authority to leave or enter the camp without problems. It was just that sneaking in was more fun and that if they just walked in, it would ruin the surprise. The grass broke in half like dried branches off a dead tree. The sneakers walked as silently they could through the camp, trying to avoid attracting attention from the guards. Apparently it wasn't as late as they had thought, as there were various guards, soldiers, and other still walking around. Chatting, singing, laughing, and the fires in the camps blazed brightly into the night sky. But the sneakers weren't there for idle chats with soldiers, there was a bigger prize at stake here. Finally, after about a half hour of duck between crates of explosives, ammunition, and food, the sneakers approached a large tent near the back of the camp. Of course, you couldn't just go through the front, that was naturally guarded. So the sneakers crept to the side of the tent and peeked under the canvas. "Old fashioned tents. I expected better from you."

Slipping under, the sneakers found themselves on a wooden floor looking down at the prize of the evening, still sleeping silently tucked away under the covers. "Just like a little baby. So cute." The sneakers approached the body, and their sapphire eyes lit up with the dimming lantern underneath. Then a snow white hand pierced the darkness and grabbed firm against the man in the bed's mouth. His eyes flashed open immediately, probably expecting the worse. But there was no need to think that. As the sneakers' face gently pressed her eyes against his and smiled. "Shhhhh. Surprise. We're going out tonight."

Sarah grinned at his reaction, two could play this game of surprise and adventure.

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It was another nightmare - he had them frequently. A week of beautiful dreamless sleep, only to be shattered with memories long held back in his fragile mind. Fortunately, that was another life - one that ended the minute a petite hand was pressed firm against his mouth. His right hand instantly shot beneath his pillow and grasped the hilt of his Five-Seven.

"Shhhhh. Surprise. We're going out tonight."

His heavy breathing slowed as he became lost in the words, the smell, the brilliant sky of blue so close. "That sounds good," he gasped out, the constriction of his lungs adding to the overall sensation. It had been months since he had seen her - but only a day since those eyes lit up at him. "Where to, Mistress?" He whispered playfully, letting go of the Five-Seven and sliding his arm around her neck, pulling her in for what he had been without for so long.

Edited by Sargun
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She didn't resist as his arm brought her close, Sarah gently kissed him and relaxed her body against him as she whispered in his ear. "Just...out. But you have to follow me." Sarah jumped up away from his ear and grabbed his arms, yanking him off of the cot and in to her embrace. "Get dressed and follow me."

Waiting only for a moment, Sarah was back under the canvas, waiting for him. After he was done, she smiled and grabbed his hand as she dragged him across the campsite, as stealthily as possible towards the hole in the defenses near the hillside. She grinned as they slipped past the guards. "Now if I could do it, think about a determined enemy. You really are slipping Evan, spending all this time with me, its making you soft." She giggled, finally letting go of his hands and running of into the forest that lead out onto the wide open plains of the Manchurian steppe. It was a beautiful night, cool, but not cold and a soft breeze whipped through the tall grass of the fields. The howling of some nearby animal always seemed to cut through the silence of the night, in addition to the beating of Sarah's sneakers on the ground as she sprinted across the fields. Always staying just out of reach from Evan's grasp.

She kept running and running, through the fields, then through the forest, then to where the sky met the ground and the Earth disappeared. Here she stopped and turned back to him. "Trust me?" Sarah said coyly, but didn't bother waiting for a response when she jumped off the cliff into the darkness below. The only thing that Evan could hear after wards was a silent splash in the basin below.

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He stripped off his robes in a single movement, sleekly and quietly getting dressed in his gear. Traditional Artemis gear was simple jungle camouflage body armor with a sewn-on nameplate. Nobody would second-guess him - a soldier from another continent on leave with his girlfriend. If they did meet other people, of course. As she dragged him across the campsite, he couldn't help but wonder who had designed the camp and how much !@#$ he was going to be in when they got back to HQ.

She sprinted ahead of him, her sneakers and civilian clothes helping her keep a slight gap ahead of him. He wasn't armed, but the gear weighed him down so that his outstretched fingers could barely brush against her back. They ran through a forest - he had been here the night before, so he wasn't worried about predators. A half moment later, they wound up at the edge of the Earth.

"Trust me?"

Evan stretched out as she jumped and a few seconds later, he followed. As the wind whipped his hair back, he thought of what might be at the bottom - and it was answered quickly as water enveloped his entire body. His eyes, adjusted as they were for the dark, saw movement ahead and followed. As he surfaced, he looked around for Sarah.

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Her head bobbed above the surface moments later as she found Evan just hitting the water. She wanted to stay ahead of him at all costs. Quickly she began to swim towards the sandy shore that was off to the right. Her arms overlapping as she pelted the water back behind her, making as much ground as she could in little time. Jumping onto the shore, she waited for Evan to follow her as she sat legs crossed looking up against the sky. Sarah gigged when he got out of the water, his heavy gear, weighing his body down even more now with the water soaked up inside. "Maybe I should have told you that I had plans to get wet." Shrugging her shoulders she laid back on the sand and looked up at the sky.

Stars, hundreds, no thousands, no millions littered the skies above them as her eyes widened at the sheer magnitude of what was in front of them.

"I wanted to bring you out here cause I haven't seen you in so long. It seems like forever since we've been together. When was the last time? Palau? Nova Scotia? The world's changed so much." She pulled a few stray strands of hair back behind her ears and looked at him. "Tell me Evan, does all of this matter to you? Like the countries, and the nations, and the people, and the ideologies? Like none of this will be around in a few hundred years. You and I, probably gone, everything gone." Sarah sighed. "Maybe I just haven't grown up yet, maybe I'm still too young to appreciate all this in front of me. But I appreciate that." She said pointing up to the sky.

"You know a friend told me once, that there was something more beautiful behind the stars. He said that when you die, you look up at the night sky and the black void breaks apart like a broken window and in front of you is that majesty of heaven and the afterlife and that God made the stars so we could get a small glimpse of what awaits us there." She took a deep breath and sighed again. "Sorry, I'm not thinking clearly. I guess, I've just had a lot on my mind and no one to share it with. The world's so lonely now. So lonely." As she spoke, her eyes began to fade to a shade of fine sterling silver.

OOC: Kudos to who can get the reference about the stars.

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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Artemis gear was meant to be used on land, so he quickly got out of the water. He swam to the shore and walked slowly onto land, water streaming from his gear and clothes like a sponge being squeezed. He shook his body like a wet dog then collapsed in the sand next to her, the sand so compact with water it merely moved aside.

Evan looked at her, first, watching her as she told a sad story. "The last time we were together, it was beyond joyful, you know that as well as I do," he replied very quietly, a grin enveloping the bottom half of his face. "But it has been way too long, Sarah," he agreed, listening to her talk. "It sounds cliche, lame, but none of this matters except what is dear to me. You, my sister, and.." He couldn't say it. "If every country, every nation, the people and the ideals and the cultures burned as we hid in safety, I would not give a damn."

He knew it sounded stupid, like a high school love note. Maybe that's why he said it. "You're my only link here - I am the sun, you are my rays of light. Without you, I'm gone from the world." He didn't believe in God - at least, not her God. He simply hummed at a very dim noise level as she talked.

"The only one who can make you lonely is yourself, Sarah," he replied, looking back at her again. This time, something was different. He shifted closer - her eyes. They were silver.

Trick of the light..

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She shook her head and chuckled solemnly, if such a thing was possible. "Death is a horrible thing Evan." Sarah gazed out into the basin of water in front of her. "But..." She swallowed. "Killing a man, is even worse that it could ever be imagined. To hear his cackling, to hear the last sounds of his breath when you trust a sword through his neck, the last light of life escaping from his eyes." She brought her head down to her knees. "Mykep's dead Evan. I killed him in self-defense. But...it wasn't self defense at the end. It was revenge. I tasted the first parts of darkness during it. The lose of his life and it feels like I lost my soul." She looked at him. "I haven't told many people, but I just feel empty and I'm not sure what to do."

"That's why the world feels so lonely. Because everything is so dark."

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Evan took the news as well as could be imagined. On the outside, his grin faltered, while on the inside he knew that Sargun would be wondering why his friend was not talking to him. Telling him would be worse than hearing this.

"Revenge is bittersweet, Sarah. My first k--" He stopped himself. "We are the loneliest people in the world." He reached a gloved hand across and wiped a few grains of sand from her forehead. "Those who kill, like me. I cannot say what you feel: every man and woman is different. But I cannot fathom letting you go down my path," he added forcefully, speaking up for the first time tonight. "Of course, nobody can stop you once you've got it in your sights, damned woman," he said jokingly, trying to lighten the mood.

"The best thing to do, Sarah, is up to you."

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She smiled, but her gaze was curious to his own as she scooted her wet body close to him and laid her hand down on his leg, still looking up at the stars. "You know, we've been together for a long time, you and I. I've spilled my soul to you so much, dozens of times. But you're still so mysterious to me. So aloof sometimes." Sarah sighed. "All your sentences, you stop, you pause, you backtrack. What about you're past, what about your stories. What made you who you are?"

Her eyes began to fade back to brilliance of the sapphires before. Shinning like a blue star in the sky. "What made Evan Hiley who he is today?"

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"Are you asking me to be like you?" He asked silently to no reply. His mind scanned his brain for a moment, and during that brief moment he decided on it. "Hope you got patience from reading all those philosophy books," he said, smiling brightly. He dug his arm into the wet sand, snaked it under her body and pulled her closer, his warmth spreading to her small body.

"They thought I'd be a girl, at first. My mom was gonna name me Eva, you know? Turns out I was a boy, so they called me Evan. Mom just called me Ev sometimes, made me sign my name in little loops," he started off with a happy tone. "My mom was 'backwoods whore' and my dad the 'bloody Dutchman'," he added cheerfully, chuckling as he did so. "Grew up in the lower ninth ward, home schooled. Sure, my dad was richer than the entire city, but.. well, six years in he bailed. He had at least four other kids to commit to, and I'm sure he never gave a damn about any of 'em." His head moved a bit in the sand as a shrug. "When I was eight, we had to move. Where? Didn't know, just got a notice to get out. Friend of my mom's took us in - in Africa. Couldn't understand half the words the Frenchman said but we lived there for most of the next decade."

"I had nine brothers and sisters. We all lived in the same hut, house, piece of trash, whatever you want to call it. The youngest died first. Sandy," he whispered her name out, "she got some disease that the hospitals weren't equipped to treat." His throat constricted there, but he managed to get it out: "They told us to burn her body. No burial." He closed his eyes for a brief moment.

"After that, though we hated to admit it, we had a bit more room. Jackson could practice without waking her up, Emily didn't worry about her barging in on her in the middle of the night," he said coldly. "We hated thinking it, but it was there. Sandy was gone, and we had to move on. I was thirteen when they came." His free hand reached into his chest pocket and pulled out a small, plastic picture holder. There were about thirty pictures in there, organized like a roll-o-dex. There was one picture of everybody - his mom, his dad, his family, Sarah, and several other women. He paused on one of them, then flipped it to show a very serious picture of an older man, his beard white with the sun, holding an AK-47.

"Vernon needed recruits. He had some, some, mercenary army that needed soldiers. It was Christmastime, the rest of the boys were at the Dutchman's in Europe. I was taking care of my mother. She couldn't stop them, nobody could. Not even the army - if there was one," he snorted. "Fourteen years old, father on another continent and a sick mother held at gunpoint - what the hell else was I supposed to do?" He asked angrily, a sneer on his face. "So, a week later, in the middle of the Sarah Desert, I'm being trained to fight."

"I thought slavery was gone from the world until then. Ripped pants were the only thing protecting you from the negative degree cold in that damn desert. They actually used chains. They used chains for everything - fences, restraints, whipping.. beatings helped keep us in line. Well, me, really. I fought everytime I could. It's why I'm so strong, you know, the beatings. Broke my legs four times. Pain doesn't come easy when it's pain or death. All they let me have was a picture of my mom. For a year I trained in that forsaken wasteland. Fifteen years old, I was a man to them. Stockholm syndrome set in - it was them or death to me, emotionally. I had to be with them, otherwise I'd lose everything I knew. Not because of threats, but at that time that's all I had was them. I needed it."

His voice dropped to a growl. "To make me a regular in the army, they sent me on a mission with other trainees. It was to attack a neighboring warlord for stealing food. I got there, we killed them. It was fast. We captured the warlord, put his men to rest for good, and.. well, we got the women." The growl disappeared, only to be replaced by a whisper barely audible. "They made me r-r-r.. all of those girls, they were all just.." For the first time, he stopped and just stared at the sky.

"I did horrible things to all of those women."

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Sarah pushed herself off the sand and out of his embrace and crawled over to him. Her face was long, trying to take in the grief that he had poured out to her. It didn't even feel that they could relate, his childhood to hers, they were so different, so detached, yet, somehow, so alike. Throughout his story, she was barely able to keep her mouth shut. Sarah wanted to say something, say anything, say something of comfort, but it was no use, she couldn't put her thoughts to words.

When he finished, she sat awestruck. He had, in respect probably seen more blood and gore than she had in her life. At least directly. Or she had never killed with her own hands directly, only one, and his memory was still strong in her mind. "Evan." She touched his face gently. "I...I didn't know. You...I can't even imagine." Sarah sighed and turned away from him, staring up at the stars. "The world. The world will never be perfect. I wish it could be and I don't know why it can't be, but we human's just can't get along. None of us can. You, me, all of us. But I guess we both regret so much. So much."

Sarah looked back at him, her hands in her lap and a frown on her face. "Is there more? How do you sleep at night?"

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"How do I sleep? She's staring at me now."

He smiled through the pain; although he had buried these memories deep beneath him, the pain wasn't numbed. Putting it off only made it worse. "There's.. a lot more." He chuckled grimly, shaking his head in the sand and laying still as possible.

"After the raid, I was initiated. They called me Artemis because of the name on the gear I inherited. Stupid name. Next two years, I.. burned down thirteen villages. The children were gangpressed. The men were murdered. The women were o-our, our slaves. I was a monster. They kept a tally. By the time I was seventeen, I killed four hundred and nine men. Entire villages worth of people. I had seven women on me at all times. They guarded me with their lives because they knew if they died they'd have release. They wanted me to treat them bad so they could die earlier. There were no contraceptives. The screams of the women, they, they were the worst. I think I killed more unborn than.."

A horrible sensation rose up in his throat. He caught it and suppressed it, the reflexes of his past coming into play. "When I turned eighteen, I got a battle group. Artemis Group, they called it. I was eighteen, Sarah. I was an adult. I should have, you know, I should have known. I planned this. General Breya, he, he was something. Interested in money. It was less about killing, now. Now it was about systematic and utter destruction."

He swallowed the rock in his throat. "That year, the Republic - led by a new King Peaceheart, instituted the first draft. Their policies were hardcore. Mandatory service. I passed on promotions to stay a grunt soldier, to get back to my old life. But Breya, our leader, was forced out. It was hard on me. I.." He hesitated a moment. After a moment of finality, he pointed at his chest. "You know the small circle on my chest? That was a syringe. I tried to.." He closed his eyes. "When I did it, I stopped breathing. They punctured my lung with a syringe and filled it with air. After that, it was the War in South America. They knew I was suicidal, so they put me in the Death Squad. It was a team of elite units led by a General personally vetted for by Kaiser Martens. He was worse than Breya."

Evan balled his hands into a fist. "We played games with the heads of the villagers. For a day, I forgot everything - even my name. We had so many drugs pumped into our systems.. They screamed for days. We burned everything. No woman was spared. Then I met Alyssa."

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She smiled, but only for a moment when he began delving her deeper into his story and she realized that they were nothing alike. He had seen things that didn't infest her deepest nightmares, $%&@, murder, suicide, drugs, an endless cycle of hate and torture that no man should have to live with. But as horrible as the story was, she was enthralled and held his hand as tight as she could as her eyes tried to pierce deeper and deeper into his soul. "Please, Evan. Please go on."

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"We purged South America. After the Nord general went back to hell, I was put in charge of the team scouting the nuclear remains of the Tri Tower. I met Alyssa. She was another grunt, like me." He raised the picture holder and flipped it to Sarah's picture, the second in the group. He flipped to the first picture, the one he sees whenever he opens it. A tall woman, busty and brunette, her wedding dress radiant in the sunlight behind her and as beautiful as the voice of angels occupied the photo. He took it out and handed it to Sarah.

"Look on the back." He choked out.

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The woman was beautiful beyond belief and in all truth, Sarah couldn't help but feel a bit jealous that Evan's heart still belonged to Alyssa. It only strengthened this thought when she turned to the back of the picture and saw, written in black ink a series of numbers, a date, the wedding date. "Oh my God Evan!" Sarah's eyes lit up. "Why didn't you tell me that you were married? Like that this never came up before is shocking. I should learn to talk a lot less and you to talk a lot more." She smiled.

But there was something in the air that made the mood much more solemn for a bright reflection of the past and Sarah knew or at least felt that this past was not all rosy and bright. "You never mentioned her before..." She looked down. "What happened to her?"

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"I loved her with all the will a man could have and more. God himself would have been jealous.." A smile briefly returned to his face. "Alyssa was my love. But my life belonged to Breya. He knew it. He knew Alyssa. He told her. Everything I did. And she waited for me to come home. I walked in. None of the lights were on, and she had a knife. She confronted me, she did. She yelled like never before, louder than the screams I could hear. I was a rapist, a murderer, a filthy criminal scum and I was going to do the same to her. We got in a fight."

Tears streamed from his face, a low whine coming from his throat. "And the next thing I know I'm holding her bloody body in my arms as the life fades from her eyes, blood pouring from her stomach.. I don't even remember what happened, Sarah, but I know one thing: I killed her! I KILLED HER!" Evan screamed those last three words with every fiber of his being and put his hands on his face, his breathing heavy. "You, I.. she.." He started saying a few unintelligible words until finally he turned to Sarah.

"I killed my fiance the night before our wedding." It sounded almost like a plea.

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In all honesty, she didn't know what to do. Part of her wanted to get up and run away from him, fearful, scared, downright terrified of what he could do to her if he wanted to and she could feel her feet beginning to move away. But at the same time, Evan was the most pitiful soul that Sarah had ever laid eyes on. His life had been stolen from him when he had no will to desire something different. He was a slave trapped inside this fictitious world that generals and leaders created with their prestige and their weapons. No, she couldn't abandon him, not when he needed her the most. Not when she was the only thing that could keep him going, that she was only only thing so it seemed that he still found light in the world from.

He just seemed so pitiful, so angry, and so lost sitting there. She reached up and embraced him tightly around his neck pushing his head on to her shoulder. Sarah just held him there, whether it was against his wishes or not, she just wanted to somehow remove the pain and suffering inside of him and make it disappear forever. "I can't tell you that you'll ever be free of that kind of misery Evan. That kind of pain, not everyone has, there are so few of us that really know what its like to hold the body in your hands." Sarah closed her eyes. She of all people shouldn't be the one telling him this, but there was no one else. "I guess there's nothing I really can say. I want to say everything will be alright, but I know it won't be. I want to say that everything will change, but it probably won't. But I can say that try to remember the good times, what little there is left, or don't try to remember at all."

She let go of him and faced his eyes. "I guess I just never...I just know that if I helped you, I already did and there's nothing that I can say to make you redeem yourself for Alyssa."

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Evan's mind was slowly going back through history. As he reeled in shock from finally digging up Alyssa's death and admitting it to Sarah, he forced himself to go into a mode where he could be comfortable again. As Sarah spoke, he listened but didn't really register it.

"After Alyssa.. I went to Berlin. I met Sargun Peaceheart, he was King of the Republic at the time. I had no idea what we were getting into - but I started arguing with him. Over South America. He told me he had no idea what was going on, that this was all news to him. We became friends. Good friends. We founded Artemis Group, an arms dealing company out of Africa. We made a good profit. I wanted revenge. I was close to Breya now. He recognized the name. And I could have gotten him, and I would have if I could. But then Sargun was shot. A couple o' years ago."

He skipped several years. He didn't want to tell it all.

"My best friend was shot, my mother was dying, my father wasn't talking to me, and Artemis, the one thing I hated most in the world, was all I had. So, I went to Berlin again. Saw this petite, blonde chick. I had about six women at the time. Anywhere in Africa, I could get someone. Southeast Asia. Hell, even North America. Anyone I wanted, and that's barely an exaggeration." Evan smiled a bit, the memory of Alyssa slowly being put back into a hole. He looked at her every day, but he never thought about her. It was too much pain.

"I saw her. She didn't look German. I wanted her. I needed her. So I bumped into her, made myself look like a fool. She fell for it, totally," he said playfully, trying to lighten up the mood. He didn't want to think of Alyssa. He wanted it gone. "And here we are."

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She smiled and kissed him lightly on the cheek when he brought up their meeting in Berlin. "So that was all a ploy to try to get with the pretty little blonde Finn that walks into a coffee shop." Sarah shook here head. "But I guess I figured that when you feel into the table, but it was so original, I was already impressed by the time that I could think again. So yeah. Here we are." She sighed and got up off the ground. They had been sitting for so long, that Sarah's clothes had already begun to dry and really only her jeans were still wet. As they stood, looking into each others eyes, a new sound joined them. A rumbling, like a acidic rumbling from down below. Sarah keeled over for a minute and laughed. "Evan, you think we could go an get something to eat. I'm starving."

Taking his hands, they walked through the underbrush around the basin, until they came out towards one of the metropolises of Manchuria over the hills. The bright lights from the skyscrapers, silhouetted against the brilliant night sky. So they took the next few hours, walking down from the country into the city itself, in an attempt to find a decent place to eat, that was still opened at quarter after one. But this was Manchuria, it was a Friday night, and things were wild.

Of course, when Sarah and Evan walked into the small restaurant, that barely looked like they had business in a year, that wildness seemed to tune down a bit. Everyone in there looked at them like they had lobsters crawling out of their ears, and Sarah just looked at Evan and laughed. "We never fit in. Do we."

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Evan looked down at Sarah and grinned. "Might have something to do with my uniform," he muttered. "Artemis soldiers have a lot of money." Evan was rather glad that they were in a city now - his uniform would make him stand out. "Course, helps that I'm with the Goddess of the World," he added on, enveloping her tiny hand in his and walking forward.

"最昂贵的鱼和最便宜的啤酒。" He asked for their most expensive fish and least expensive beer, although he probably ended up saying something along the lines of 'I'd like to stick a fork in your fruitcake'. The very surprised looking woman behind the counter immediately nodded her head and hurried into the back, while the rest of the restaurant still looked at them warily.

"Perhaps you chose the wrong restaurant?" He asked Sarah, smiling stupidly and nodding his head toward the cleanest (I'm stretching the use of the word 'clean' here) table in the building.

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"I don't think much else is opened right now Evan." She said smiling, lowering her head playfully down to the counter, biting her lower lip as she looked at the menu. "Evan, tell them that I'm ordering the Lo Mein, I can't speak Chinese." But Evan would never get the chance. Almost immediately after she finished her sentence, the dirty glass windows of the restaurant exploded inward as five guys, pistols drawn ran into the restaurant, yelling in Chinese as other people in the restaurant jumped to the floor for cover from the bullets.

Sarah jumped herself to the floor and looked at the five intruders from the supposed safety of the bar stool as watching them approach the old man behind the counter, pull a gun, shout something that sounded like he demanded money and then in the blink of an eye, fired two bullets into the old man's head as Sarah screamed trying to hold her mouth to keep from letting them know her position. Lucky for her, everyone in the entire restaurant screamed.

Another goon hoped over the counter and pulled a few hundred Marks out of a drawer and stuff them into a bag. They conversed privately for a moment, as the restaurant descended back into silence. Slowly they turned their heels and faced the door, before the gun man turned back to the bar stools and looked down, his eyes meeting Sarah's. "Get up." He said in perfect basic. She looked around, confused, but praying that he wasn't looking at her. "Get up!" He shouted and pulled out the gun again. Sarah nodded and got up to her feet. "Blonde, foreign, very nice. You'll do well."

She approached him slowly, but as he put his hand on her neck, she slapped him hard across the face. "Get your filthy hands off of me." Which was met by the butt of the pistol slamming hard against her face. Sarah felt to the floor and looked, her mouth running with blood, at Evan.

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"Get your filthy hands off of me."

As Sarah hit the floor, a trigger snapped in the back of his head. Evans mind reeled for a moment as two pistols were trained at his head and he was yelled at in two different variants of English and Chinese. When he knew he was going to be shot, the reflexes kicked in. From there it was all a blur.

Duck.

The gun farthest from him fired moments after he ducked. His brain momentarily registered the sensation as a bullet slid across the back of his neck and in the general direction of one of the other assailants. A primal roar resonated from deep within him as he lunged forward and grabbed the man who had struck Sarah. The mans pistol went up in the air and fired aimlessly as they both grappled for control, his friends unwilling to accidentally shoot him. Evan took advantage of his huge physical strength and grabbed the hair of the man, his shoulder, and then slammed him neck-first onto the edge of the counter. A sickening crunch heralded the amount of blood pouring from the mans throat, which sprayed in an arc as he hoisted the mans body up and over the counter.

At this point he grabbed his Five-Twelve and jumped over the counter, bullets spraying the tough metal exterior that protected him. He placed his pistol at the temple of the man behind the counter and fired, the man instantly killed. The two bodies, piled atop each other, served as a grisly reminder to what he used to do.

"Sarah!" He yelled out, putting his pistol sideways on top of the counter and firing. The bullet struck the leg of one of the three remaining assailants, who let out a curse involving several of Hiley's preceding generations.

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The gun fight continued between the front two men and Evan as the wounded man grabbed Sarah, who had once again thrown herself on the ground to escape the gunfire, by her hair and yanked her back up to her feet. Evan wouldn't dare keep firing on them, if Sarah was directly in the line of fire, but they could. Opening up a storm of bullets the men began to back away from the restaurant, Sarah being dragged by her hair and arms screamed out towards him. "Evan! Please! Help me! Please!" She cried out and finally they dipped through the doorway, out to a black limousine out on the street. Sirens could finally be heard off in the distance, but by this time it was already too late. Sarah was thrown head first into the vehicle as the other men climbed in. She immediately bounced up to the back window, hoping to see anything, anything at all, but she couldn't see anything but the smoke still coming out of the restaurant, and the smell of freshly cooked Lo Mein.

As they pulled away onto the main freeway, she turned violently to the man in the back seat, lunging onto his body trying to punch him in the face. "You !@#$%^&! You !@#$@#$ !@#$%^&! Let me go! I'm going to kill you!" But she was immediately yanked off by the passenger and hit over the head with the but of the gun. Everything went blurry, but she could see the gun being pointed at her and her being yanked up my the collar.

"You're lucky we don't kill you now! But you're a rarity in these parts and people will pay good for you. So shut your !@#$@#$ mouth at go to sleep." He hit her with the butt of the gun again and darkness enveloped her.

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Smoke? Smoke?

Evan didn't see Sarah get taken away as he was too worried about what the hell the smoke was coming from. When the gunfire stopped, he jumped up and started firing at the doorway, missing at the phantom assailants who were long gone. "Sarah?!" He cried out, looking around but seeing nothing but terrified customers. The fire alarm suddenly went off, spraying him in the face with water. Growling and angry, he ran towards the direction of the smoke and started fumbling around for the gas mask he had on his back. A few seconds later, he was going through the crowded back of the restaurant towards the fire. He could smell the gasoline - the place was being torched.

He raised his Five-Seven and shuffled into the kitchen, where the fire was raging hard. The silhouette of a man flew out of the back door and the screams of a woman drew him towards it. "Sarah?" He yelled out, running through the flames and ramming his shoulder at the back door, busting it down and rolling into the back. The gangster had started up his motorcycle and was about to get on it when he spotted Evan. The man and Evan both raised their weapons at the same time - only one had a bullet through his chest. The woman he was holding dropped to her knees and screamed hysterically, her hands over her head. Evan walked over to the dying gangster, grabbed him with one hand and hoisted him in the air.

"她在哪儿? 她在哪儿,您血腥杂种? Where is she?" The man spit blood in his face. Evan responded by placing the gun where his ribcage ended and fired, then did the same at three inch intervals until a bullet penetrated beneath his neck. The man saw one last look at death before being dropped to the ground. He heard the squeal of tires and immediately jumped on the motorcycle, flying out of the restaurant parking lot and into the dark streets of Manchuria.

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Sarah woke up in the dark of a strange room, she was laying on a rickety bed with rusted springs underneath a torn and broken mattress. She rubbed her head and felt a massive bump where she had been struck with the gun and dried blood that had caked onto her hair. Sitting up, a sickness over came her entire body as she turned to the bedside and vomited over the floor. "Damn it all." She coughed a bit more vomit and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. "This sucks. Where the hell am I?" There was a small lamp on the floor next to the bedside, no lampshade and when she turned the light on, the bulb barely shown from all the dust caked inside. But it at least illuminated the room. But she wished she hadn't turned it on.

The walls were painted with a corroded green that was almost finished pealing off the walls, there was the smell of fluid in the room, which had probably made her throw up in the first place. On the floor was broken glass, beer cans, bottles, and the occasional needle on the floor and she wanted to throw up again. Sarah wasn't stupid, this was a slave operation. She remembered being called a rarity and a blonde on the Asian mainland, yeah, that was definitely a rarity. But if she got out of here, crime was going to be the next thing on her list to crackdown on. Getting off the off the bed, she walked over to the door and tried the handle. "Locked. Damn it." But as she stood there, the handle jiggled from the outside as she dove back towards the bed. Someone was unlocking it from the outside.

The door opened up and a large Chinese man walked in, his hair spiked and wearing a dirty denim jacket. He looked at Sarah sitting on the bed and smiled. "Well I did get my money's worth. I paid extra. But a European this is a treat." Sarah stayed silent, she saw the gun sticking out of the side of his jeans, so at least for the moment she would after to go about with what he would expect. But playing into the role wasn't an option either. She sighed and looked down at the floor.

"Can we just get this over with?"

He nodded and approached her, but just as he was climbing onto the mattress, Sarah swung her hand back and dug her nails into his face. He screamed in pain and fell back, reaching for his gun. But she was faster. She took the gun out of the holster and aimed it at him, while the blood ran down his face. "Keys now or I blow your brains out."

"Don't tell me what to do !@#$%*. Get back on the b-" A shot rang out into his leg as he dropped to the ground. She reached down into his hands and ripped the keys out of the grasp of his fingers.

"!@#$%^&." Sarah walked to the door and unlocked it as she stepped into the abandoned hallway and looked left and right. There were guards for sure. She turned back to the man. "Clothes now, or I'll finish the job." He hesitated, but when she raised the gun again, it was only two minutes before she was covered in a large denim outfit as she walked out into the hallway, scared to death but trying to press on towards the entrance.

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