A hail of bullets ripped through the side of the warehouse. Wood splintered as a gaping hole formed, and a fully armed Goliath came crashing through the makeshift doorway, entering the alley and targeting its guns on the armored security forces surrounding Mox.
Gurney's voice blasted through the alley via a loudspeaker on the underbelly of the metal behemoth. "Hold it right there, dudes. Lay a hand on my buddy and I'll send one of these Hellfires right up your backside."
One of the guards stepped forward, shielding his eyes with a hand to block out the Goliath's spotlights. "Gurney? Is that you?" he asked.
"Hey, Mad Dog? What're you doin' here, man?" Gurney questioned.
"You guys know each other?" Mox asked incredulously. Mad Dog gave him a dirty look and one of the other men shoved a gun in Mox's face. Mad Dog turned back to Gurney. "I got orders from the Magistrate to kill this lump of manure on sight," Mad Dog replied.
"Call your men off. I got a contract for you," Gurney said.
"What's he talkin' about, Mad Dog? We got orders—" said one of the other guards.
Mad Dog looked at the man, thought for a moment, and turned back to Gurney. "You better not be yankin' my chain, Gurney." He turned and waved to one of his men, who then promptly placed the gun against the back of the other guard's head and fired, blowing the man's brains out through the exit wound that had previously been his forehead. The man crumpled to the ground in a heap. Mox stared at the body, then back at Mad Dog.
"Marlon, stash the body in the usual place and tag someone on my hate list as the perp. Preferably Raul or that nosy-ass L.C." Mad Dog growled.
"You got it, Mad Dog," Marlon said.
"Okay, Gurney," Mad Dog said. "Tell me what you got in mind."
Gurney climbed down from the Goliath and approached the man. "Better yet, I'll show you," he said with a mischievous grin.
"Hot damn," Mad Dog said. He slid his hand down the side of object just make sure it was real. "Where in the hell did you get a friggin' nuke, man?"
Gurney laughed, his voice echoing slightly off the warehouse walls. "Dude, workin' sanitation on a battlecruiser has its advantages. I rogued all sorts of stuff those jerks threw away. Hell, I even got the parts for my Goliath out there that way."
"And they just threw away a perfectly good nuke?" Mad Dog asked with surprise.
"Well, this one was a dud but I found out why. The guidance system is trashed," Gurney replied.
"So what good is it then? You don't get ahold of G.S.es for this series of nukes every day, y'know."
Gurney crossed his arms and smiled. "Yeah, but see I did get ahold of one, and my avatar's holding onto it right now."
Mad Dog turned to face him and raised an eyebrow. "All right, so what's the deal?"
"Easy, man. First off, you guys lay off of Mox. Second, you get me the men and equipment I need — and it's gotta be Kel-Morian. Third, I need some food. Beer and hot dogs, man. All you can spare. Some nachos too."
Mad Dog laughed. "Is that it?"
Gurney gave him a serious look. "Tell me why you guys are after Mox. I want all the data you got on him."
"Sure thing," Mad Dog replied.
A few minutes later, Mox saw Gurney and Mad Dog come out of the warehouse.
"Everything all right, mate?" Mox asked with hesitation.
"Yeah, this was too easy," Gurney replied in a whisper. "They'll lay off of you for now, man. Just stick with me and don't go wanderin' off or nothin'."
"You can count on it," Mox said.
"Look, they told me why they're after you. Seems you got a bounty on your head."
"Yeah, well I—"
"AND it just so happens, the guy placing the bounty is my ex-boss."
Mox paused. "He is?"
"Yeah. And they told me you used to be part of the organization. High up on the ladder."
"Yeah... I suppose I was. What about it?" Mox asked, wondering where his new friend was going with the conversation.
"Any of your old security codes still work?"
Mox looked at him oddly. "Yeah, sometimes. Why?"
Gurney smiled. "Cool. This might work out better than I thought. Come on, let me tell ya some more about my plan," he said.
The Antioch Chronicles™ © 1998, Eric Dieter & Ruben Moreno. All rights reserved. The Antioch Chronicles™ trademark and associated logos are the exclusive property of Eric Dieter & Ruben Moreno. Characters and distinctive likenesses thereof, character names, item names, place names, named events, artwork and all other related material not disclosed herein are protected under the laws of the United States of America and other countries. Any reproduction, retransmission, or unauthorized use herein is prohibited without express written permission.
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