Neo Discadia: Rise of the Sewer Rats
You see, I was minding my own business, having a drink, making a gamble or two in the city of games. When my buddy hits me up to tell me about a bounty floating around the underground, I say underground but it’s all underground now. Anyway I pick up the phone “joe, you’re not gonna believe this” he says “I’ve got my eyes on an easy prize worth a lot a dough” and I say to him “I’ve already had my fill for one day pal, plus I don't like sharing, especially not with you”
“Get your head out of the sewers man I’m talkin’ about a bounty. Your gonna wanna take a look” he sends me the info and I look through it. I have to laugh. “you have any idea who these three are Gus? They've been tearin’ the league apart, you've gotta be crazy to mess with these guys”
then he says something that takes me aback. He says “keep scrolling.”
I click the arrow key on my communicator until I see what he’s talkin’ about. and I can't believe my eyes. “wha- that's… that's more than the other three combined ten times over”
“best part is… she’s just a kid. no fighting, no shooting, no nothing just a good old fashion kidnappin’” he’s got a point, but he’s also made one grave oversight “this would be easy money. Except for one problem, they’re league-sponsored athletes. those guys live in a fortress. And to mess with them would be messin’ with Marcus. And you don't want his wrath aimed at you”
“…you've grown soft in your old age pops”
“I haven’t grown soft, I’ve grown old! id be taking on a whole army by myself, while you sit there on your ass going senile” He said
“Whatever, if you do decide on taking the bounty just remember to give me my cut for the insider information. Got it?... joe? Joeeeeee” he heard him but he couldn't respond. Because at that very moment, he saw Wendy, The girl worth a million dollars, sailing over the crowded streets on Neo's shoulders.
“I gotta call you back” he said before hanging up. He got up and started walking towards the door when the bartender attempted to stop him “OI! sir, your bill!”
“Put it on my tab. I’ll be right back” he said
at first I thought it was a long shot. I made a mental picture of their faces in case I came across them just like I’ve done a million times with a million other bounties. But I hadn’t the slightest idea I'd be seeing them so soon. Little did I expect to see them in a place as innocuous as the shopping district. I followed them from shop to shop as they went about their day squeezing through the crowd trying to get from one booth to the other. I watched them eat. i even heard them talking about being followed. That neon kid’s got good instincts. Too bad he let himself get swayed by his idiot friends. No one suspects a kind old man to be a ruthless bounty hunter.
They leave and I watch as they push their way to an antique clothing store. This is where they spent the most time. they took so long the streets got packed to the brim if I was gonna pull of this job, get lost in the crowd in all the confusion, it was now. And that's when I saw them leave the stoor.
He moved into the crowd. Squeezing his way and positioning himself just right for his golden opportunity. And when he saw their faces. He pushed forward. Breaking Neo's grasp from Wendy's hand. Carrying her away and covering her mouth in spite of the fact that her voice would have been drowned out over the crowd.
he made his way to a back alley. “ha! that was almost too easy”
“let me go! What are you doing!?
“Relax girl, everything will be just fine” he said grabbing his chloroform from his pocket to make his escape as quiet as possible
“no! Back off” Wendy shouted. resisting
“now now, just sit tight, it’ll be over before you know it” he said
Wendy saw as the soaking rag moved closer and closer as the grin on the sleazy old man's face grew wider and wider "easiest million I ever made" he said
she didn't know what was going on, but she knew what she saw. she saw this man full of malice taking her away forever. separated from all she knew in favor of the abyss of the unknown. and she wouldn't have it. she would not take this lying down.
“I said, BACK OFF!!!” Wendy said tossing his arm away with such force it made him loose his balance and drop his rag.
“huh, you're stronger than you look” he said before punching her across the face knocking her out. “but you're still just a kid.” he said unaware of the red-eyed shadow rising behind him
“WENDY!! WENDYYY WHERE ARE YOU?!” Neo yelled
“Neo! What happened?!” Erika yelled
“its Wendy! She’s gone!”
“shes what?!” Johnny said
“well she couldn't have gone far” Erika said
“but there’s so many people, we'll never find her!” Johnny said
“we have to try” Neo said “split up, well find her faster if we fan out, there's only so many ways out of here”
“Right!” Erika and Johnny said in unison.
The polite pushing and squeezing turned into frantic running and shoving. No longer were they concerned over anything other than finding Wendy. Johnny hopped onto the top of one of the light posts to get a good look over the crowd but he could see anything. Neo climbed up the side of a building trying to get a birds-eye view. But again, all he saw was prep schoolers and their endless shopping bags. No Wendy. Erika ran up and down the streets trying her hardest to see her little pigtails even in passing. “cmon, this city doesn't even have children, she should stick out like a sore thumb.” That's when she heard a voice, faintly but succinctly “something something… back OFF.” Erika's ears perked up, it was her! it was her voice! She thought. she turned a corner to the back alley just in time to see a grown man punch her little sister in the face. she couldn't believe her eyes. her body felt hot and she felt her muscles tense up just like they did when she got tasered. But this was a different kind of tense. This was fiery hot rage. As her adrenaline pumped in gallons throughout her body, all she saw was red. The next thing she saw was the man’s back as she was about to tear into him as she screamed “THAT'S MY SISTER!”
She wrapped her legs around the man's neck and began to tear open the flesh on his face with her nails. He managed to shake her off and make a break for it when all of a sudden, Neo dropped from the rooftops in front of him blocking his path. The look of death spread across his face. it was so nerve-wracking the man turned tail and ran. But just as he did he saw another boy with messy hair sprinting towards him with his arm wound up tight. Johnny's fist bashed into the bounty hunter, all of his kinetic energy transferring over to the man's face, launching him backwards into Neo who was ready to bounce him back with a forward knee overhead of Johnny where Erika could use her hammer kick to bring him down for the count. But that didn't stop her from attempting kicking in the man’s ribcage.
“I think you got him” Johnny said after the 3rd or so kick
“I’m not even a millionth of a percent done with him” Erika said
“just don't overdo it, wouldn't want a dead man on our hands.”
“he punched Wendy in the face!” Erika said
Johnny and Neo’s eyes widened. they gave each other one look before joining in on the grade-A smack down Erika was handing out.
“Few! man! that was quite the workout! I feel hungry again already!” Johnny said
“you’re always hungry” Neo said
“not true, I’m not hungry while I’m eating” Johnny replied
“c’mon, I’ve had more than enough for one day, let’s get Wendy home” she said turning around shocked to see Wendy wrapping her arms around her legs.
“Wendy!” she said
“I’m sorry guys! I didn't mean to get lost!”
“No! don't apologize this is not your fault! Are you okay? I saw he…” as Erika grabbed Wendy’s face to inspect her cheek. but she was shocked to see it didn't have a single mark. Not even a blemish
“What wrong what is it?” Wendy said but Erika didn't hear
“not even a bruise” she said under her breath
“hey nice jacket Wendy, where’d you get it?” Johnny said resting his elbow on Erika’s shoulder.
That's when they both noticed she was wrapped in Johnny's shiny new expensive jacket
“Johnny, what-”Erika said
“well, I couldn't just leave her there.”
“ah no this is you’re jacket! Here you can have it back!” Wendy said
“no need, it suits you better anyway.” he said
“WHAT? for real?!” she said
“you deserve it after what you went through” Johnny said messing up her hair
“can we have this touching moment back home where the cops won’t catch us literally red-handed?” Neo said
“no need” a stern voice said from behind them
the gang got ready for another fight at the sight of two big strong men towering in front of them. but the men raised their armes instead of squaring them. “oh no need for that, were with Marcus, he had us follow you.” one of them said
“follow us?” Johnny said
“yeah, most athletes get a little itchy sometimes and go out to blow off some steam. We’re clean-up crew.” The other one said
“clean-up crew?” Erika said
“no worries, it’s all part of the package, you champs can’t make him money if you’re too busy locked up” one of them said
“so you’ll handle this?” Neo said
“no problem, you go about your business, we’ll take it from here” the other one said
“alright, let’s go” Neo said. Johnny and Erika soon followed holding Wendy tight
the two men inspected the body and one of them said “yo, this fool's still alive” to both their surprise
“they beat him half to death but they still had the restraint to not kill him” the other one said
“can’t have any witnesses, you know what to do” one of them said
“yeah, I know” the other one said just before he snapped the man’s neck in one swift motion. they made the whole scene disappear. The only remnants being the chromophore rag that fell near the trash.
“it seems to outsource this job won’t be yielding any results. We’ll have to rethink our strategy” a strange slender man said picking up the rag. He looked at one of the cameras and gave it a complex hand gesture to communicate with who he knew was watching on the other side.
“hmm, so be it then” the mysterious man behind the camera said