Drop of the Hat
Under the shadows of Grandville's Spider City thrives the rancid and ignored neighborhood known as The Gutter. Here in this vile cesspool of crumbling buildings and lakes of sewage true anarchy reigns among the unfortunate residents, the monstrous Arachnoids hide in every hole and alley, and the patrolling Arachnos troops fire their weapons at any living creature they find out of boredom. There is little hope or provisions for any person who is crazy enough or too poor to live here, and the Gutter's only existence is to act as a foundation for the business metropolis above. The people are forced to fight or die, the latter being much more common as the generations have passed.
Kevin Porter especially didn't like this place. Reminded him too much of home.
The man in question is a six foot tall man virtually all in black: black trench coat, black shirt, black pants, black work boots, black gloves, black eye patch over his left eye. The wide fedora on his head is actually a very deep blue-black, giving the impression of blue or black depending on the lighting it was in. He also had a black utility belt hooked around his waistline that held several small guns, throwing knives, and clips of ammunition. There was also a long leather holster strapped to his left leg that stored his sniper rifle, which he began to lift out with his long, clawed fingers.
Lying on his stomach on a building leaning to it's side, he reached towards another strap on his right leg and removed a few bullets. Then, Porter took out the two-legged prop and set the gun on it, taking aim at the cracked street below. With his one good eye, he peered through the scope at his targets: a couple of Malta operatives waiting with their own advanced weaponry for their contact to meet them. They were part of a small cell of the mercenaries who had purloined Arachnos property and secrets, and were about to sell them to the highest bitter. Lord Recluse had given the “go ahead” to have them taken out and made an example of, and his lieutenant Captain Mako recommended Porter to do the job. The sniper was more than eager to finish this job and return top side before any memories of growing up penniless and alone in Sharkhead distracted him further.
Muttering softly to himself, he took a headcount of his prey. “One, two…”
Odd, he thought, there should be another one in this group. Just as he looked up from the scope to see if the last one was anywhere in sight, he heard a gun cock loaded nearby and a small barrel press to the back of his head. Following that was a voice:
After Porter cursed himself for deciding against using a gully suit before coming, he breathed out an annoyed sigh.
“Is that a pistol? Because I haven't had a good laugh in a while.”
“Good ol' fashioned six shooter.” the assailant behind him bragged, the slight accent gave away his Malta alignment. “With magic bullets. I've got you right where I want you, Kevin Porter.”
Bad. Really really bad. Porter wasn't exactly famous outside of Sharkhead, and he had only one brush with Malta and all those fools were dead. He wondered if perchance his estranged extended family was still trying to kill him as he very slightly started to move his left leg out towards the man behind him.
“Before you kill me, can I hear the name of the man who succeeded in blowing my head off?”
There was a snort.
“You don't remember me?”
“'Fraid not, if we met. I've put a lot of Sharkhead behind me.”
“It's me, you little punk! Flint!”
That was when the memories surfaced. Oh yeah, that Malta guy… Porter dared to move, shaking his head.
“Damn right I lived! You'll pay for what you did to me!”
There was a light tap as Porter's foot finally touched the boot of the mercenary behind him, and he moved it slightly back in preparation.
“You talk too much, cowboy. That'll be your undoing.”
“Well, I'm about to undo you right no…” Flint was cut off as Porter's foot sharply slammed into his shin and swept up, sending the Malta gunman slamming into the ground with a surprised yelp. Porter used the momentum of his foot to spin up to a stand, and quickly pulled out his .45 to shoot the man in the face. Just as Flint was getting up, Porter pointed the gun and squeezed the trigger. The bullet sailed from the barrel to the man's face but then…
…Ricocheted off and landed on the roof with a small bounce?
Porter raised an interested eyebrow as he noticed that Flint's face was a metal faceplate with robotic sensors for eyes, colored gray with chips and dents from time and again getting shot in the face. The recent mark from Porter's bullet had left a dent just under the left eye, and nothing else. Again, Porter shook his head, but this time said nothing. He took aim for Flint's heart to end this nonsense immediately, and again squeezed the trigger. Again, the bullet sailed out of the gun, and again ricocheted off and dropped to the ground harmlessly. By now, Flint was on his feet, and his mechanical eyes were narrowed in anger.
“…Not just your face…” was all Porter managed to say as Flint charged for him and punched him right in the mouth with a surprising amount of strength. Before Porter could recover from the blow, Flint's other hand came up and slammed into the sniper's jaw with the same amount of strength. Porter tumbled to his hands, and was about to jump back up on his feet when Flint's foot swung back and then forth fiercely into Porter's gut, flinging Porter off the roof and dropping helplessly to the street below.
Porter managed to right himself to land on the ground on the balls of his feet and one hand, quickly bringing his other hand up with the gun, pointing it at the roof to shoot at Flint. He half expected Flint to jump down after him, but saw only the mercenary walking to the edge of the roof to look down. With only one good eye, Porter just barely made out the thin, sly smile just under the lip of Flint's faceplate.
“I really wanted to kill you, Kevin Porter.” Flint called down to his prey. “But after mulling it over and pulling a few favors, I decided I didn't want to just kill you. I'm gonna destroy you, boy!”
Porter was about to fire another shot at Flint in annoyance until he felt the ground tremble slightly under his hand. And in rhythmic intervals, the trembling increased. Like very heavy footsteps. The crack of something ramming into the other building made the sniper snap his head up to look behind him, and the sight made his eyes widen in fear and his blood run cold.
A giant mechanical monstrosity was slapping aside the opposite building to get into Porter's alley, causing debris to drop and clutter near it's titanium feet. Porter did the only thing he could think of at the time: run, very quickly. The giant titan raised one of it's gun arms and fired an energy blast in Porter's direction, causing the man to fall to the ground and roll back up to his feet. Now, he wasn't sure what to do. He didn't have any equipment to take down this monster half the size of the buildings around him, and heavily armored against any kind of firearm.
Flint cackled from the safety of his post.
“GET 'EM, KRONOS! STOMP HIM FLAT! DESTROY HIM!”
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