I adjusted my duffel bag at my feet and peered at the imposing building across the street. My Instincts told me that my quarry was just up ahead, located in the fancy casino. They have never failed me before, but lately things have gotten odd.
I have never actually been to Las Vegas before. Hell, I usually try to avoid civilization and its people, much less travel to the hottest tourist attraction in the USA. But my hunter instincts were crystal clear in the fact that I had some prey, and they were located in California. I can’t really explain it. It’s like I have an itch, this… compulsion to head to the nearest airport and book a flight to Nevada. The itch wouldn’t leave until I did, so I did just that.
Now I laid in wait, watching the entrance of the place, but the Itch returned. I was to go inside, apparently. I gathered up the duffel bag, possessing the new bow I had just recently acquired, and a matching quiver. Fingering my new crescent necklace, I made my way forward.
As soon as I walked in, the guy at the front-desk gave me a knowing look, almost as if he expected me. Waving off a questioning customer, he made his way to me. “Glad you could make it, Mr. Vasil. Your room is ready for you. Would you like for me to take your bags upstairs?” I edged away from him, shifting myself so that I was between him and the duffel bag. “No, thanks. I will make do as I am, if it’s alright.” I left him there, head bobbing like a love-struck teenager.
The itch had left, so I assume I was at the right spot, though my prey was not. The waiting game has begun. I made my way to sit down in front of a row of one-armed bandits, content to play the part of the money-hungry gambler until I knew what exactly it was that I was tracking. I scanned the patrons, seeing mostly lower middle-class people happy to throw their money away for a chance at the “big take.” It would never happen. They would be here until they were robbed of everything they had, then their presence would no longer be required. Such was the way that casino’s worked. They were the hunter, and these patrons their prey.
Disgusted with how pathetic these people were, I went to turn towards the slot machine in front of me, but before doing so, I caught sight of someone who didn’t fit in. I mean, he wasn’t dressed much different than the rest of the people in my sight, but he didn’t possess the same look in his eyes that the rest of these people had. I couldn’t quite place it, but something seemed off about him. He passed by me, and I tore my gaze from him when I noticed the man at the front desk. He seemed tense, and his gaze kept cycling back to me. I eyed him for a few seconds, knowing that something was not rig-
That was when the gunshots went off.
I ducked down to analyze the situation while simultaneously retrieving my bow from the duffel bag. There were 6 guys, all wearing masks and the same suit as the man whom just passed me. They had their guns pointed to the air and people were running to keep out of the line of sight of their guns. As I threw my quiver across my back and laid my hand on my bow, I saw the front masked man lower his gun into a ready position… Then a roulette wheel slammed into his head and he fell to the floor.
Wait… the fuck? A man was charging towards the group of masked-men, doing whatever he could to keep their attention on him. Alrighty-then. I heard the snap of a whip and I saw a table get sliced in half, clearing the battlefield of obstacles. Finally having the bow prepared, I sprung myself up and did a backflip onto the slot-machine behind me and proceeded to take aim at the closest mask visible.
I have been trained to fire a bow since I was forced to take care of myself at a young age. My mother was killed in a stab-and-grab mugging, and I never knew my father. Homeless, I was forced to live in the woods where I had to try to hunt for my food. An old man found me, dirty and weak from hunger. He took me in and trained me to live off the land. I grew up, every day hunting for my food, or going to bed hungry if my prey eluded me. The old man fed me until he felt I was good enough to hunt for myself, then he refused to feed me, telling me that I should put my training to use. It was a hard way to live, but if it wasn’t for my upbringing, I would never have gained the skills that I possess today. The old man had handcrafted me a bow not too long before he died. I used that bow for the last 10 years, and just when it was about time to replace it, I received my “gifts”
I saw a gunman tense up and prepare to fire at Hercules, so I shifted my aim and released my arrow. I soared through the confusion and pierced the guy through his temple. Right where I had aimed. Holy crap, this bow was amazing!
I heard a gathering of change to my left, and I risked a glance. I saw silver glinting in the air, then I heard cries of pain and confusing coming from a few of the gunmen. I glanced back to see many of them unarmed with cuts covering their hands. I looked at the floor and paled. Quarters? The guy flicked quarters across the room hard enough to cut through skin?
I drew two arrows and took aim at the two trying to recover their guns. I waited until they both grabbed their gun and stood up to take aim. It was then that I released my arrows, nailing both of them between the eyes, though they were about 3-4 yards away from each other. They dropped, leaving only us four unmasked people standing. I noticed the first guy nailed with the roulette wheel wasn’t on the ground. He must have escaped, but the casino guy was running towards us. And I heard oncoming police sirens.
The quarter-guy walked over to a tense policeman who was brandishing his gun. After a few exchanged words, the cop was smiling and acting all buddy-buddy with Mr. Quarters, then waved to all of us as he left. What did he SAY to him?!? The other men were confronted with the front-man of the casino, whom looked positively frantic. Deciding to leave the soothing over to them, I walked over to the downed men and began trying to find enough of a trace to lead me to the one who got away. He didn’t try to hide his escape, so it was easy.I got up and found everyone heading deeper into the casino, so I followed them to an open vault. Apparently, if I understood the guys frantic stuttering correctly, the casino mask-men were a cover for a more intricate casino heist. Something of great importance was stolen from the vault, and he wanted us to get it back. I was willing to comply, seeing as how he isn’t throwing us at the feet of the Police department for property damage. I scanned the vault and frowned… there were no traces of… ANYTHING in this room. I turned around and saw that even the traces of our entrance to the vault only a minute beforehand were already erased from existence. Eerie.
I figured the best case scenario was to track down the guy whom got away and question him for details. “We’ll get it back, sir. Give us a bit.” So the four of us walked out of the casino together. No one was offering their name to me, so I chose to keep mine to myself as well. The others were talking about calling the cop back over and trying to steal his radio to zone in where the thieves went by listening to the police chatter. That would take entirely too long. “That is unnecessary, guys. I can simply take you to them if you desire.” I received more than one raised eyebrow, but I turned away. I enhanced my senses and started following the trail that the escapee left in his dash to safety, tuning out all else. After a while, I finally found myself in front of a multi-story apartment complex. I looked up at the windows, deciding that he was…. Right…
“There. The apartment four windows up, third from the left.” I looked over to the guy next to me and blanched. He was tugging a freaking roulette wheel with him. And I missed that… How? But he looked up intently at the window in question and smiled. “You guys go on up, I wanna make this interesting. Let me know when you get in position.” Ok…
So me and the other two guys headed up the flights of stairs and halted at the appropriate door. A text was sent to the guy with the roulette wheel. A second later, a crash came from inside, amid the shattering of glass. and the masculine cry of alarm. We broke in and I trained my sights onto the man sitting at his table, staring at the ground next to him. He was subdued by my compatriots, and keeping my bow trained on him, I walked over to see the roulette wheel sitting on the floor, an orange positioned in the 00 position. Damn…
After threats were thrown out, the guy started telling us every secret he has ever had. The Hulk walked in about the time we led the escapee to the topic at hand. We got a name and an address, and that was all we needed. I was prepare to kill the man, but Hulk decided to do things differently. I was appalled at the thought of letting our quarry live, but he seemed adamant that this was would be more fruitful in the end. So I let him deal with it and headed downstairs. I tagged along while they drugged the guy to the police station with a self-written confession pinned to his chest. I still preferred to kill him, but alas…
A while later, we followed the address to a lawyer’s office. I sighed. It would be next to impossible to get anything from him… We walked in the door, Mr. sweet-talker got us passed the secretary, and we confronted the lawyer. I stood at the door to look imposing, but it wasn’t needed. We barely stated why we were here before he started handing us a list of names, telling us that they were hired help, and that us being here means that they failed. He was more than happy to cut all ties with them. As we walked out, I went to put away my bow, only to find that upon thinking that I needed a better way to carry it, it had shifted to a ring. How odd…
The list led us to the second story of the original casino. We barged in only to be taken aback. The man was a very buffed Irishman. And he was stark-naked, so were the dozen girls with him. After he got decent and the room was cleared, he told us what we were looking for and where we were supposed to get it. He handed Mr. Sweet-talker a wishing coin, saying it was the key to us completing our mission. Mr. Quarters strolled into the bathroom and flinched upon finding more naked women in the bathtub. We reeled him in and headed out.
The directions were leading us to the desert, and it was dark by the time we arrived at our destination. Three men were alone in the clearing. One was a huge, seemingly unarmed muscle-man, one was a lithe dual-wielding gunman, and the last was slamming a large staff into the ground. The staff had a black jewel-like object on its head, and unnatural light was coming off of it. My analysis stopped there when a bunch of undead skeletons started popping up out of the ground.
Mr. Sweet-talker Floored the gas petal and headed right towards them. I opened the sun-roof and prepared to start shooting out, but upon seeing bones fly over the hood of the car, I thought it better to wait. Plus the ride got a whole lot bumpier as skeletons arose underneath our tires. I sat back down and looked to see Mr. Roulette wheel was leaning out the window with a spear aimed at man who implanted the staff, whom I assumed was their leader. Where had he gotten a spear, and how did it fit into the car? Looking back on my bow, I guess I couldn’t say much. I looked back at Sir Lance-a-lot to find him no longer in the car? I jarring crash to the side of the car made me fall back. It seemed that the unarmed muscle-head had shoulder-tackled our car… We parked and I jumped through the sunroof, landing atop the car.
My scanning to pick out a target was faltered when Mr. Sweet-talker flew past me and headed towards the sky. My jaw dropped as he was flying in the air, surveying the fight… But the sound of gunshots brought me back to earth. The leader had a knife, and together with the muscle-head, they were fighting Sir Lance-a-lot. But my focus was on their marksman. A smug look on his face. He thought that he was the hunter and us his prey. That infuriated me. A battle-haze came over me and I started firing by bow, 2 arrows at a time. My mind closed itself off, and my body’s battle reflexes kicked in. I relentlessly attacked the marksman, alongside Mr. Quarters, whom was an expert when it came to knives I found out. I found it odd that no matter how many arrows I pulled out of my quiver, it always stayed full. But I had more pressing issues to think about. After a few trades of ammo, I manages to implant an arrow into the marksman head, right between his eyes. I smiled sadistically as his corpse fell. “Think ‘I’ your prey, do you?” I laughed humorlessly… My gloating was short-lived when I found a lance piercing my shoulder, though I felt no pain from it. Oh right, a fight was still going on. Muscle-man seemed furious that his ally was downed, and he was prepared to take it out on me. Unfortunately for him, I had allies of my own.
Together, we all fought an epic fight on a battlefield surround by a growing ring of the undead. As my battle-haze wore off, I saw us four standing, surround by bodies. Mr. Sweet-talker flew down and pulled out the wishing coin. I watched, fascinated, as the staff crumbled, shortly followed by the skeletons. Mr. Knives walked over to the downed marksman and retrieved the trophy guns from him. Sir Lance-a-lot Bent down and retrieved the brass knuckles off the corpse of the Muscle-man. Guess he wasn’t unarmed. I glanced down at the lance still stuck in my shoulder. “Obviously…” I tried to pull it out, and it bursted into shrapnel, damaging me.
Mr. Sweet-talker retrieved the black jewel, while the others disposed of the bodies. And, together, we left the cold desert and the battlefield behind.