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Legend Hunting Part Three
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 30 January 2003, 9:18 pm

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      "Aright, next hit wins. Go!" a pair of children with squirt guns began to run around the hotel, letting loose random streams of gunfire in an attempt to eliminate each other in this war-game. Suddenly a blur whipped towards one of the two boys, who was stalking the other. Before the child could even scream the Spartan had disarmed him and spun the rifle around, ready to deliver three lethal headshots. He fired a burst of gunfire to no avail, and questioning the inefficiency of his weapon, snapped the child's neck before retreating to the woods again.
      I stepped around the corner of the West hotel and saw an alternating red and blue glow. Fully alert I pressed my back against the wall and crept to the edge of the wall, peering around carefully. There was a police car parked in the parking lot of the hotel, sirens activated, though the sound was disabled because it was not trying to alert anyone to get out of the way. A cop stood by his car, leaning against it smoking, as if he had been standing there for some time, judging also by that his cigar was no longer than his thumb.
      I spun around the corner and walked o the back of the building. A cop sitting in front of the building, why? Had they found my rifle? It didn't appear that they had, otherwise they would not still be standing around in front of the building, they would have taken it to get it dusted for fingerprints, and find mine. I circled around the building to the other side and stepped casually around the corner, careful to maintain a low profile, walking on the sidewalk. I cocked a quizzical head at the cops, to act natural and walked up to him. He didn't see my approach, so I tapped on the hood of his car. He spun around, brown uniform and badge in tow. He was uniformed as any normal state guard for this area and carried the signature Berretta pistol, which I saw resting on his leg. "What's going on here?" I asked.
      "A murder. Some kid died, and we are here. End of story." He was keeping a press style profile in regards to the crime. He wouldn't tell me anything that he didn't need to, and would do so until told otherwise, and in regards to my profile, it would be much smarter if I were to not become too nosey.
      "A kid? The times now days, when children are killed." I replied, trying to sound as if I cared.
      "Yeah, who would kill a defenseless child? What could a kid ever do to deserve something like that?" He flicked his cigar again, a warm red glow unveiled as the flakes of burnt cigar fell from the end and to the ground, where the wind instantly swept them towards the open farm fields, where it could roam freely.
      "Only a true monster officer, only a true monster could."
      "Right." He replied, "So I assume that means you believe in the Chupacabra myth going around right now, blaming all your problems on a monster." He said, almost breathing that he was a nonbeliever.
      "I do. I just found out about it recently, a day or two ago." I lied.
      "Well, you can drop all your hopes of something higher to believe in, it's probably just some city slicker vandals on a road trip deciding to come here and scare the locals. So, what are you doing here, stranger?" he made very certain to insert the title at the end of his sentence, I was a stranger, and there was a murder and a strange series of events, all o which I was probably the suspect for only because of my arrivals proximity to the dates of the crimes.
      "What am I doing here? Visiting my family, the Martinez." I extended a hand to shake his, though I got a stiff cold shoulder, with no return to my gesture. I slipped my hand back to my side, continuing to talk, "Scott Martinez, Construction Worker."
      "Ah, yeah, I think they talked about you coming a week or so ago. So, a long lost relative huh?"
      "Yeah, I had to search pretty hard to find these guys."
      "Why would you do that? You don't know any of them besides that the same blood runs through your veins."
      "They're the last I've got. All the rest of my family is gone, killed on the front lines near Harvest."
      "Oh, sorry to hear that, here, want a cigar?" he said, probably trying to change the subject from the inconvenient one, death. It was amazing how one attempted to ignore the topic of death as if it would prolong it's mirror, life.
      "No thanks, these things will kill you, you should quit." I replied. Besides that, having an open flame near my face may begin to deteriorate the plastic in my artificial face, and ruin my disguise.
      "I will never quit, it's too late for me." He grinned as if he had acknowledged his fate, nailing his casket with every breath he took with a cigar in his mouth, "I will be smoking one of these until the day I die. I'm no lamb of the media propagandists, these cigars are better for you than they know." He flicked the cigar again because of our reference to it, not because of necessity and an unnoticeable amount of ash drifted lazily to the ground.
      "Nice to see that someone still has free will in this age. Good luck on the murder case, and catch that sick bastard. The streets are a lot better of a place when people like him are gone." I nodded friendlily and paced off to head for the local market. I knew that a retreat back to the house would look as if I were fleeing from the police, and make me into a suspect, and continuing onwards towards a false destination, but a believable one. I walked towards the store at a normal pace, though thoughts raced through my mind, a murder in the town was a large snag in the mission. I stepped towards the supermarket, stopping at a reasonable distance and ducking into the alley to ponder what to do next. I noticed the leg of something run around the corner and instinctively ran to chase it. I ran to the end of the alley and looked outwards towards the emerald green woods. A band of brown tree trunks crossed the green of the treetops and grass as a band of bark and occasional patched of leaves. A man in fatigues with a rifle ran towards the woods, away form me. He had a sniping type rifle, not a civilian model. It could be a farmer who thought he saw "Chupacabra", or it could be another Marine drop team. Those damn creeps at ONI were always breathing down our backs, maybe the three days I took were too long, or maybe this man had been here long than I had.
      I quickly decided to follow his movements and shuffled from bush to bush, checking for any Marine Corps or ODST insignia on him, finding none. Of course, anyone who saw me now would believe that I was a normal civilian dressed in hunting fatigues, and bird hunting was large game on Lunar 4. The stepped into the woods, and I followed from a safe distance.
      The man seemed to be following the Spartan, judging by that he continually surveyed the horizon with binoculars and moved very much like a veteran, and used more than enough cover to deal with anything. I followed him for at least three miles until suddenly, he stopped. He lie prone on the ground, rifle pointing off a ridge and his set of binoculars pressed firmly against his face, which was covered in a ski mask. He flipped the binoculars shut and pulled out the rifle, firing a volley of four shots. I pulled out my binoculars and followed the bullet contrails to the point of impact and saw a shimmer of something moving. Another series of shots fired at a target, one which I did not see. Some birds flew form the nearby trees and made excessive noise, giving me the cover to slide behind the sniper. Another four shots rained down upon the ground, where I had given up looking for the target of his sniping. I leaned slowly towards him and put my forearm firmly on the back of its neck. "Roll over! Drop the gun!" I shouted suddenly as the man got time to react. He spun over slowly, pushing the rifle away. "Mask off, now!" The black mask slid off to reveal a woman, with blonde hair. "A woman? What are you doing out here? And how did you get that rifle?"
      "I suppose you are here for you 'El Chupacabra'." She said.
      "I ask the questions, why are you here?"
      "I am here to uphold my part of the bargain."
      "The bargain?" I asked.
      "Have fun among the fallen!" she snapped a pistol from the side of her leg, one that I had not seen and stuck my along the bottom of my chin with it's handle. I wavered woozily for a second before falling unconscious.