Chapter 1:

Bounty Hunter Sloane

Let the Hunt Begin

Let the Hunt Begin Ch 1.

A dark night, the town’s lights are slowly fading for everyone is heading off to sleep but in a sandy alleyway a man is running bumping into the walls and trash left on the street. He runs through a muddy puddle breathing heavily; they run into a wall, turning right swinging his arms up in the air desperately trying to get away from something or someone. The sounds of three gunshots are fired, two of the bullets miss, but one hits the man’s leg. Groaning in pain he falls to the ground, grabbing his leg. The taps of light tennis shoes heading towards him. A figure in black leggings, dark blue shorts with two blades crossing each other on their back steps forward; the man shrieks.

The man: Stay away! Please leave me alone!

A submachine gun is clicked and pointed at the man’s head.

The man: You…who are you?

Reaching into a purple short jacket with short sleeves and three metal orbs hanging on the back and a one sleeve pink tank top. They flip a gold coin in the air catching it with a pair of black gloves that read Bounty Hunter across the top, underneath are a sword, a gun, and an arrow crossing each other. The moon’s light shines on the girl with red curly hair covering her eyes.

The girl: A bounty hunter.

Morning has risen in the small town called Renato. There are small buildings and shops with one huge building in the center of town that has a sign above the door with the same symbol as the coin. Inside are three women in black suits with no ties are standing at a desk helping bounty hunters claim their reward or assigning jobs to them depending on their rank or the job they pick off the big board in the corner. The girl walks up to one of the ladies.

The lady: Welcome back, Sloane

Sloane: Morning, Jana. I finished the request I’ve come to get my reward.

Jana: That’s great, let me see your hunter’s coin

Sloane takes out her coin and gives it to Jana. She sets it on her desk and a blue circle lights up underneath the coin. A halo screen pops up with Sloane’s hunter information.

Jana: Bounty Hunter Sloane, job complete.

Jana: Your reward has been transferred to your hunter’s account. Here is your coin.

She gives Sloane her coin back. Sloane puts her coin in her pocket

Sloane: Thanks, Jana

Male hunter 1: Wow! Check this out!

Male hunter 2: Seriously! That’s crazy! How can it go up that high?!

Sloane and Jana look over to see a big crowd surrounding the wanted and job board.

Sloane: What’s with the commotion?

Jana: A recent bounty has been going up as of late. It’s only been up for a few days and the bounty has tripled over the past week.

Sloane goes over to take a look.

Wanted Bounty Hunter De-Ron

Reward: 800,000,000 million Sia

Dead or Alive 

Sloane: That’s quite the bounty, how can someone get such a high bounty in a few short days?

A wanted bounty hunter is someone who committed a great crime in the city Neo Tokyo. Most hunters don’t go after one another, but there are some who will do it for the money and the fame of catching such a criminal.

Looking over the other wanted posters and request Sloane sees a woman hunter with a high bounty.

Wanted Bounty Hunter Carlene

Reward: 500,000,000 million Sia

Dead or Alive

Male hunter 2: Carlene? Who’s that?

Male hunter 1: How could you not know about her? She was an amazing bounty hunter better than any of us.

Male hunter 1: They say she could take on any job and take men ten times stronger than her.

Male hunter 2: If she’s that amazing, what happened to her?

Male hunter 1: No one knows she disappeared about 10 years ago, no word no nothing.

Sloane ignores the two hunters and spots a job with a high reward not too far from here. She takes the job to Jana.

Sloane: I’ll take this one.

Jana: Alright, give me a minute to assign this job to you.

Some of the other hunters notice her taking on a high reward job.

Male hunter 3: Is that her? The one that takes on jobs with high rewards?

Male hunter 4: Yeah that’s her, she’s been taking on lots of jobs lately.

Female hunter 1: overconfident, isn’t she?

Female hunter 2: Sooner or later it will come back to bite her, she better be careful.

Jana: You are now assigned to this job. Good hunting, Sloane.

Sloane: Thanks, I’m off.

The sun is setting riding  through the desert Sloane is riding passenger in a green Jeep from a local to the location of where her target was last seen. In the distance Sloane can see three tall buildings leaning against each other. Arriving it looks like it could collapse at any time Sloane gets out of the car.

Driver: You sure you want to be here, miss? It doesn’t look very stable, the inside might be even worse.

Sloane gives the driver the money for the ride.

Driver: Well, if you’re sure.

He takes the money.

Driver: Signal me with the flare I gave you when you’re ready to leave.

Sloane: Right, thank you.

She loads her gun then enters the first building, nearest to the ground. The driver pulls away, inside the floors are covered in sand, both the floor and ceiling are falling apart, and wires are hanging from the ceiling. Walking in slowly she checks her surroundings, looking in all rooms, checking corners, and so far she has found nothing. No signs that anyone has even lived or pass by here in the past month.

Sloane: Nothing.

Sloane: Perhaps he’s not here anymore.

Sloane: There are two more floors than the roof. Might as well take a look.

Heading for the next floor the ceiling above starts to shake a bit Sloane stops and looks up. It shakes again Sloane runs to the next floor waiting at the top of the stairs she looks around then hear people talking, coming from a room a few doors to the left. Sloane quietly makes her way to the door peeking inside there’s two man moving around the room. The one Sloane is looking for in a dark green shirt, big black pants, and no shoes; he has dark rings under his black lifeless eyes and brown hair. He’s swinging a knife around, chasing the other one. The man being chased has a bamboo hat, blue long sleeve shirt the right sleeve crosses over to the left side, gray pants that goes over the shirt they’re a bit puffed out, and wooden geta (Japanese footwear that resembles flip flops). He tries to calm him down, but he’s not listening, being pinned against the wall Sloane’s target is about to stab him. Sloan rushes in.

Sloane: Stop!

Her target stops and they both look at Sloane.

Sloane: Hadrien wanted for murder and thieve.

Sloane: I’m placing you under arrest, drop your knife and get down on the ground.

Hadrien becomes more frightened Sloane ties to get closer. He reaches behind his back, seeing him reach for the gun the man yells to warn Sloane, but Hadrien pulls out the gun and starts to fire. Sloane hides behind a pillar the man tackles Hadrien his gun slips out of his hand using his knife he tries to cut him, but he backs away in time. Sloane dashes towards them Hadrien pushes the man off of him, throws his knife at Sloane she dodges just as Hadrien runs past her. Sloane chases after him.

The man: Wait!

He spots a bag on the floor picking it up and looks inside, surprised by what he found he becomes worried.

The man: This is bad. I have to hurry.

Hadrien runs into a different room Sloane reaches the room he ran into. It’s pitch black, slowly walking in Hadrien grabs Sloane in a choke hold; she drops her gun as he squeezes tighter. Sloane stomps on is foot; it loosens his  grip; she then elbows him in the stomach, grabs his arm, and throws him into the wall. Catching her breath she picks up her gun and walks to him ready to arrest him, but the man from before storms into the room.

The man: Wait!

Sloane gets distracted by the man Hadrien grabs one of Sloane’s blades. He swings it at her using the other blade she blocks it he pushes her out of the way. The man moves away trying to grab Hadrien’s arm, but misses.

The man: Would you wait a damn minute!

Sloane points her gun and bade at him.

Sloane: I don’t know why you’re here, but he’s my target, stay out of this.

He reaches into his pocket.

Sloane: Don’t try anything orI’ll put a bullet right through your skull.

The man: just calm down.

He pulls out an injection needle.

The man: I believe this belongs to your target.

The man: I founds it in his bag that he left behind. Seeing that it hasn’t been used he must have not taken it yet.

The man: This could explain his behavior and why he committed those crimes. The medicine in this needle isn’t working for him anymore.

Sloane puts her gun and blade away from the man.

Sloane: That doesn’t concern me in the slightest. He’s still a criminal.

Sloane: And since he’s a criminal I’ll do my job and catch him.

Sloane runs off, he sighs then rubs the back of his neck.

The man: Are all new hunters like this?

He follows her. Hadrien reaches the roof and runs to the edge of the roof; there’s nowhere left to run. Sloane slams the door open.

Sloane: Don’t move!

Sloane: You’re out of options, Hadrien. Just give up.

Hadrien is shaking, scared he takes a step back and stumbles, falling over the edge.

Sloane: Crap!

She tries to run over, but the man flies right by her. Jumping off the roof he falls towards Hadrien he grabs a hold of Hadrien’s arm pulling him closer to him. The man sees loose wires hanging out the windows he reaches for a wire, managing to grab a wire tightens swinging them around the corner of the building crashing into an empty room. Watching everything from the roof Sloane is relieved that they’re alright and she heads for the room they landed in. She finally finds them Hadrien is lying on the floor while the man is sitting next to him. They both have a few scratches, nothing serious.

Sloane: You alright?

She walks towards them.

Sloane: That was quite the leap you took.

The man: I knew things would turn out fine.

Sloane: Is that so?

The man: Would you believe me if I said that?

Sloane: Not really, you took a chance and it pad off.

The man smiles.

Sloane: Still not just anyone could jump off a building like that and survive with only scratches. Guess he’s just crazy or stupid.

Sloane: What happened to Hadrien? Did he faint from the fall?

The man: After we crashed he tried to run, but I injected the medicine into his arm before he could get to his feet.

Sloane: I owe you a thank you, ah I don’t think I asked you for your name.

Sloane: What is your name?

The man: I’ll tell you over dinner.

Sloane: Dinner?

The man: I haven’t eaten at all today, so as thanks for saving your target dinner would be great.

Sloane: Alright, I’ll treat you.

The man: Wow! People are usually hesitant when a stranger asks them to dinner.

Sloane: Why’s that? You did help, so lets call it even.

The man: Sounds good to me. I look forward to it.

Sloane, Hadrien, and the man stand outside of the first building Sloane uses the flare the drver gave her, seeing the signal the driver heads their way.

Night has come with the moon and stars appearing in the sky back in Renato Sloane drops off Hadrien at Bounty Hunter Control Center (BHCC), the same building Sloane visited earlier. Getting her reward she walks outside, his waiting for her to come back, walking down the street there different shops and booths selling food, weapons, and many other things that a hunter would need.

Sloane: According to the doctor Hadrien’s mind was so unstable that he needed to take a special kind of medicine to help clam his mind down.

Sloane: They said he hasn’t been taking it for a long time. Any longer and his mind might have suffered permanent damage.

Sloane: Seems you needed up saving his life twice.

The man: Yet I don’t get anything out of it.

Sloane: That’s not true you’re getting a free meal, aren’t you?

The man: A free dinner with a cute girl is a pretty good reward.

Sloane blushes.

Sloane: So what is it that you want to eat?

The man thinks for a second.

The man: I haven’t been to Renato before, so what do you recommend?

Sloane: If you insist then there’s one place I have in mind.

Sloane brings him to her favorite place to eat called Bowl Potato

The man: I was not expecting such a simple yet different name.

Sloane: They serve everything in a potato or with one.

The man: Oh, so it’s literal.

Sloane: Hmm?

They walk inside; there’s a small bar on the left, rows of tables on the right, and a second floor with a railing. They decide to sit at a table on the second floor by the rail. A waitress comes with two menus.

Waitress: Would you like a drink tonight?

Sloane: I’ll take a glass of vodka.

The man: Make that two.

Waitress: Okay, I’ll be right back.

She brings them two glasses of vodka they then place their order, one potato stew and a chicken carrot potato.

Waitress: We’ll have that out for you soon.

The man takes off his hat and sets it next to his chair. He has green eyes and blue hair that’s spiky on the left side on the right is uneven and looks like it was burned off. He takes a sip from his drink and catches Sloane staring at him.

The man: Is there something wrong?

Sloane: No, it’s use your hair.

The man: Oh, this.

he brushes the right side of his head.

The man: I was in a bad accident that left  scar that can’t be healed.

Sloane: Sorry, I brought up some bad memories.

The man: No worries, I don’t really remember what happened anyway.

Sloane: He says that but he looks rather sad.

Sloane: Since dinner has been ordered isn’t it about time you tell me your name?

The man: It’s rude to ask for one’s name without first saying your own.

Sloane: Fine that’s fair, my name is Sloane.

De-Ron: My name is De-Ron. You can call me De, Ron, or Ronde.

Sloane: I think I’ll go with De-Ron.

Sloane: Are you a bounty hunter?

De-Ron: I am. How’d you guess?

Sloane: A hunch no one is brave enough to jump off a 10 foot building unless you have experience in that type of field.

De-Ron: Well, you’re right about that.

Sloane: I also wanted to know why you were there in the first place?

De-Ron: I was spending the night. I’ve been walking through the desert for days, thinking I could get a good night’s rest. When I woke up the sun was setting and he was standing over me about to stab me.

Sloane: Why didn’t you use your sword?

De-Ron: Huh?

Sloane: The one on your hip. You could have easily disarmed him if you tried.

De-Ron looks down at his sword.

De-Ron: Of course, anyone could tell with the way he was acting.

Sloane glares at him.

Sloane: Sorry for not noticing.

She takes a sip from her drink, staring at De-Ron; she can’t help but feel like he looks familiar.

Sloane: Why can’t I shake the feeling that I’ve seen him before.

The waitress brings them their food as they are eating, they hear a ruckus coming from downstairs. Looking over the rail there are two bounty hunters getting into an arguement.

Sloane: What are they doing in a crowded place?

De-Ron: By the looks of it they’re both very drunk. Must have had too much of this delicious vodka.

De-Ron: This happens at this time of the night. Once they sober up they’ll stop, best leave them be.

Sloane stands up, leaves the money for their order, then heads downstairs.

De-Ron: You’re going to stop them?

Sloane: If I don’t they could hurt someone, not just themselves.

She runs downstairs and De-Ron watches from his seat finishing up drink and his food. Two waiters are tying to stop the two hunters from causing a bigger scene Sloane steps in to help.

Waiter 1: Please sirs, you have to stop this. Someone could get hurt.

Male hunter 1: Back the fuck off!

He pushes waiter 2 Sloane catches the waiter.

Sloane: You okay?

Waiter 2: Yes, thank you.

Sloane: Hey! Stop this at once, you idiots! Can’t you see all the trouble you’re causing?!

Male Hunter 2: Huh?

Male Hunter 1: Shut your mouth, you bitch!

Male Hunter 1 throws a punch at Sloane and Waiter 2, she reaches for her gun just as De-Ron grabs his hat and jumps from the second floor he lands right between.

Male Hunter 1: Who are you, asshole?

De-Ron: Why don’t we just stop here for today? Everyone here came to relax and have a nice drink of vodka. So let’s respect that, shall we.

Male Hunter 2: Stay the fuck out of this!

Male Hunter 1: If you want us to stop then fight us!

They both charge at him, but De-Ron moves swiftly towards them. De-Ron draws his sword then he draws a long white pistol, he pins both of his weapons to their throats stopping them in their tracks.

De-Ron: Now would you two gentlemen please pay for your drinks and leave quietly.

Dumbfounded, they agreed to pay and leave De-Ron lowered his sword and gun. As they are leaving the owner of the restaurant and the waiters thank De-Ron for his help. Sloane stands there in awe at how he handled those hunters.

De-Ron: Sloane.

Sloane comes out of her daze.

Sloane: Yes?

Sloane nods and leaves with him.

Sloane: That was pretty cool. Stopping two hunter on your own.

De-Ron smiles.

De-Ron: I’m more impressed by you.

Sloane: Huh?

De-Ron: You bravely stood up to those hunters without a second thought. Taking on jobs as hunters is dangerous, but going against those who do the same job is even more.

De-Ron: You’re pretty cool Sloane.

Sloane blushes and looks away. They walk to an old hotel away from the busy markets and shops.

De-Ron: Night Sloane.

Sloane: Wait De-Ron.

De-Ron: Yes?

Sloane: I wanted to ask you something.

Sloane: Are you the wanted bounty hunter from the poster on the board?

De-Ron: I am. Are you planning to turn me in?

Sloane: No, no nothing like that I just…

De-Ron: Yes?

Sloane: I was wondering if the woman who is also a wanted hunter is someone you know or heard of?

De-Ron: Why do you want to know? are you looking for her?

Sloane: I am. She is someone who I’ve been looking for a long time.

Sloane: So have you even her or know where she is?

De-Ron: I’m sorry, I don’t.

Sloane: Okay, thank you.

Sloane: De-Ron?

Sloane: Do you think I can become strong? I mean like you?

De-Ron: That depends on you. Only you can become strong if you really want to.

De-Ron: You won’t know if you continue to stay in Renato.

Sloane doesn’t answer, he leaves her in front of the hotel.

Lying in her bed Sloane stares at the ceiling thinking back at he restaurant. How De-Ron was able to stop those bounty hunters on is own and how he saved Hadrien from falling. She knows how strong De-Ron is, but wonders if she can be just as strong or stronger. Sloane gets out of bed, behind the hotel is an open area she starts to train; she practices hand to hand combat, a quick draw of her gun, and last with her blades. Breathing heavily and sweating as she looks to the night sky, Sloane remembers a dark night, a night she would never forget. A man is lying dead on the floor of a small house Sloane is wounded and a woman is holding a gun to Sloane’s head.

Sloane: Why?

Sloane: Why did you do it?!

The woman drops the gun from Sloane’s head and walks away. Sloane struggles to stand up.

Sloane: Why?! Answer me! Why?!

Back to looking at the night sky. Sloane grips her blades tightly.

Sloane: Okay.

Next morning, De-Ron is out shopping for food and other supplies.

Shopkeeper: Thank you for your business

De-Ron puts the into a sack, throws it over his shoulder, and heads for the bus station.

Sloane: De-Ron!

De-Ron turns around and sees Sloane running towards him.

De-Ron: Sloane.

She catches her breath then stands up straight.

Sloane: De-Ron, can I come with you?

De-Ron: Huh?

Sloane: I want to get stronger and you’re right I won’t if I stay here. So I want to go with you and maybe I might find what I’m looking for.

De-Ron smiles.

De-Ron: Well okay, you can come along. It would be nice to have a traveling partner.

Sloane: Thank you.

On the bus heading for the next town Sloane and De-Ron are sitting in the back of the bus Sloane watches as Renato gets farther and farther away.

De-Ron: Are you missing home?

Sloane: Yeah, but I’m more excited to see what’s outside of Renato. 

Sloane: By the way, De-Ron, what’s your hunters rank?

De-Ron: Oh! I’m…

He takes out a shining diamond colored coin.

De-Ron: Diamond rank.

Sloane: What?!

De-Ron smirks.

Sloane: How can that be?

The ranks of hunter are copper, silver, and gold. There wasn’t been a diamond rank in a long time, some say they’re mere legends.

Sloane: The only way to become a diamond rank is to be acknowledged by the person who established the bounty hunter system. The president of Neo Tokyo.

Sloane: But there hasn’t been a president since the collapse of Old Tokyo. How did he become a diamond rank bounty hunter?