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Emerald Trophy2 Voted Best Fanfiction of Winter 2016!

This is a fanfiction created by BlazingLeopard on 29/03/2015.

Note: This is a remake of the roleplay The Race Against Time. If you wish to view the original roleplay version of this story click here.

Overview

For over five years now, Mobius has been a peaceful place. Not a single war or major conflict has taken place. It's as if everyone has everything figured out. However, deep within the Great Forest of Soleanna, lies a forgotten power that, if uncovered, could spark the greatest war history.

Included Characters

Protagonists

Antagonists

Minor

The Firestorm Gem


Prologue


Central City, United Federation - November 2nd 2013, 00:05 AM


It was midnight, and the streets of Central City were silent. The street lamps that scattered themselves down the various roads all shone brightly. One of the street lamps shone into a once darkened alleyway. It allowed one brown furred cat to be seen standing idly against the wall of a building. Astrid was watching him from a rooftop directly opposite to the alleyway. She was sporting a dark red hood and a new pair of lightweight, black boots as well as her usual attire. She knew something wasn't right. No one was usually on the streets at that hour. As she watched, someone in a navy blue hoodie walked up to the cat from the other end of the alley.

"S, it's me," the hooded person said.

Astrid could hear their conversation, despite the distance between them and her.

"You're late, Vol-" the cat said, before being interrupted.

"Don't call me by name. Call signs only, remember?" the hooded person said.

"Apologies, V."

This made Astrid curious of their intentions. The fact that they were using call signs meant that what they were doing could've been bad. Astrid continued eavesdropping.

"Anyway, do have the info?" V asked with some impatience.

"That depends. Do you have my payment?" the cat asked, folding his arms.

The hooded figure gave the cat a suitcase with what Astrid presumed contained a small fortune.

"Many thanks," the cat said, checking the suitcase's contents, "I have located the two warrior stones you requested. The first is located in Soleanna's Great Forest, to the south of the ancient shrine there. The other is located in a military science compound on Springbreeze Island in Armonia."

"I'm off to Soleanna first then. Thank you, S. You've been a great help," V said, quickly beginning to leave.

"Hold on. You do realise the danger of these stones, yes?"

"I do. Now, I need to leave."

V left, leaving the cat standing in the alley, sighing. Astrid stood up and leapt from the rooftop to another across the road. She then jumped down into the alley, startling the cat.

"How dangerous are they?" Astrid asked, walking towards the slightly frightened cat.

"W-where did y-"

"I overheard you talking to your friend. I heard that you found a 'warrior stone' for him. You also said that they possess great danger. How great is it?" she asked again.

"Uh-um. They-they are like a-a bomb. They can destroy a town if given the chance."

"Who was the other person?" Astrid asked, with a very serious look in her eyes.

"I-I cannot say. He will... end me," the cat replied.

Astrid sighed, "Look, the person you were dealing with is very... suspicious. I need to know their name."

The cat looked at her straight in the eyes and in a moment of confidence replied, "No. If my client does not wish their name to be uttered, it will not."

Astrid scowled at him and ran off just as quickly as V did. She quickly hopped back onto the rooftops and tried to look for the person. He was gone.

I might need more than just myself to stop this "V"... she thought, before continuing to run into the night.

Chapter 1: Meet Up


Station Square, Central City, United Federation - November 2nd 2013, 07:00 AM


A few hours later, Astrid found herself sitting on a rooftop in Station Square, looking at the gentle rise of the morning sun. She swung her legs back and forth across a window. It was about seven 'o clock in the morning. Beautiful, she thought to herself as she watched the sun rise.

"Thought I'd find you up here," a voice said from behind vixen.

Astrid looked around and saw a somewhat tall, male fox standing behind her, leaning against an exit point for a ventilation shaft.

"Where else would I be during a morning such as this, Blake?" she asked, removing her hood.

Blake took a few steps forward and sat next to Astrid. "Well, you could be stabbing someone in the face."

Blake had a slightly muscular build and a mixture of light and dark grey fur. He wore a red shirt with the sleeves rolled up past his elbow and a pair of khaki coloured trousers along with some black boots and a backpack carrying a number of various items.

Astrid looked at Blake, unamused at his remark.

"I guess that's not something to joke about," he said in reply to Astrid's reaction.

Astrid looked back at the sunrise and an awkward silence followed.

"Soooo..." Blake started in an awkward tone, "You gonna tell me why you called?"

"This morning, at roughly midnight, there was an exchange in information."

"So?"

"This information was the location of two warrior stone, some of the most powerful and dangerous items in existence."

"Okay, so what's my part in all this?"

"You and the rest of the team are going to assist me in making sure neither of these stones are in this man's hands."

"Wait, 'rest of the team'?"

"It will take more than one of us to take him down if he retrieves the stone. Therefore, I contacted you and two others."

"Who are the two others?"

"One is a kinetic, the other is a swordsman."

"A swordsman? Really? If this guy has a gun or something, your swordsman is screwed," Blake said, shaking his head.

"He is accurate in his technique and deadly with his blade. He seems like the perfect ally to me," Astrid said, standing up, "Come, the others will be waiting for us in Riverside Park."

Blake followed Astrid's lead and stood up, "Alright..."

The two of them walked towards a set of stairs running down the side of the building and proceeded to go down them.

"So, do you know anything else about this guy? A name, an associate et cetera?" Blake asked.

"I heard his associate call him "V" and that he paid a large sum of money for the information," Astrid replied.

They reached the bottom and walked down an alleyway leading out into a wide street. A few cars drove past but for most people in the city, it was too early to be driving around. As they walked towards the park, they saw a few business owners opening their stores for the day. Some of them greeted the two foxes whilst others ignored them.

A few moments later, they had reached the park and waiting for them were the two other members of the team. One was a sable, dressed in a black, red-collared suit, black trousers with red highlights and a pair of black shoes. On his back was a katana, safely contained in a sheath crossing his back diagonally so that the hilt poked over his right shoulder. The other member of the team was squirrel. He sported a charcoal coloured hoodie over a grey shirt and wore a pair of jeans. His hood was up and on his feet were a pair of dark blue and white trainers.

"You guys must be the rest of the team," Blake stated as both he and Astrid walked up to the two of them.

"Blake, this is the swordsman, Dustin," Astrid introduced, gesturing towards the sable. Blake shook his hand, "And this is Arin, the kinetic."

"Good to meet ya, Blake," Dustin said.

Blake reached out a hand to Arin, but received nothing. Not even a "hello".

"Not much of a talker, eh?" Blake said, awkwardly bringing his hand back to his side.

"Yeah, he hasn't said anything to me since I got here," Dustin mentioned.

"We leave in two minutes," Astrid stated.

The three men turned to face her. "Leave for where exactly?" Dustin asked.

"You mean she hasn't told you guys either?" Blake said. The two of them replied with a simple shake of the head.

"Soleanna. That is where 'V' will begin his search for the warrior stone. The ferry arrives in two minutes," Astrid said, replying the Dustin's earlier question.

"Soleanna? But that'll take hours to get there by boat," Blake stated.

"It will take roughly thirteen hours, yes. Why, is it problem?" Astrid asked, staring down her ally.

"No, no. It's fine."

"Good. We should go to the docks. The ferry will be waiting."

The group, led by Astrid, then headed for the docks at Riverside Park where a ferry was sat, waiting to depart. They climbed aboard and sat down inside. A few of the crew members questioned Astrid and Dustin for having weapons visible on their person, but eventually, Dustin convinced them that the weapons were fake by telling them that was all a part of a cosplay.

"Good morning everyone and welcome aboard, this is your captain speaking," a male voice said in an announcement, "We should be docked in Soleanna at roughly eight-thirty in the evening, Central City time. Beverages and snacks are available on decks two and three. Thank you for traveling with us and we hope you have a smooth journey."

Chapter 2: The City of Water


Soleanna City, Soleanna - November 2nd 2013, 20:20 PM


A few hours go by and the ferry is nearing the end of it's journey. On the second deck, Blake and Dustin were sitting with Arin, trying to get him to communicate in any way possible. Arin slouched in his chair, listening to music through a pair of earphones.

"Dude, you're going to need to talk if were going to do this," Blake said to the young mink. He got no response.

Blake sighed and sat back into his chair, feeling defeated.

"Look, I say we just leave the kid alone. He obviously doesn't want to talk," Dustin said.

"Yeah, but if he doesn't talk to us, how are we going to get to know him?"

"Relax. He'll tell us when he's ready," Dustin assured.

"Yeah, well I don't always trust the silent type," Blake said under his breath.

A few moments of silence passed after the brief conversion before Blake spoke once more. "So, Dustin. How'd you and Astrid meet?"

"Well, we met kinda recently actually," the swordsman started, leaning forward slightly in his seat, "A few months ago, the place where I train and teach at was attacked by a local gang. At the time, I didn't know why, but it was because one of my students had broken a promise with them. They shot the student and started holding everyone in the building as hostages at gunpoint. Kinda crazy if you ask me. I assume Astrid heard the gun shot because about a minute or two later, she was there," he continued.

Dustin then proceeded to begin using his hands to show what he saw. "She broke in through the skylight and jumped to of the guys and knocked 'em out cold. The guys turned and saw that she was already gone. That girl is lightning quick by the way. She then fell from a bannister on the second floor and knocked another guy out. The rest of 'em ran off like cowards after that. Then I thanked her and said that I'd pay her back in some way. This is my way of doing it."

Blake found himself sitting forward in his seat, intrigued at Dustin's story. "Pretty intense story there."

"Yeah, it was kinda crazy. So how'd you meet her?" Dustin asked.

"Eh... It's a little bit embarrassing to be honest..." Blake sighed.

"C'mon. It can't be that bad," the swordsman insisted.

"Alright," Blake began, sighing again, "I was out hunting when this thing started chasing me. Looked like a dog, only... demonic in a way. As I ran, she came out of nowhere, pulled me aside and shut me up. She then got a bow out and shot an arrow straight in its head. I ended up looking like a pansy..."

Dustin chuckled at Blake's final sentence. "So I see we met her under similar circumstances," Dustin stated.

"Yeah, I guess so," the hunter replied. He then turned and looked at Arin, who was flicking the touch screen on his phone. "I would ask how Mr. Earphones here met her, but he'll just ignore me."

Then, from behind the fox and the sable, a voice spoke, "Arin will tell his story when he feels comfortable. Right now, it is fresh in his mind."

"What is?" the swordsman asked looking around to see Astrid behind them.

"Recent events. As I said, I will only speak if he allows me to tell it," she said looking at Arin, whose earphones were now absent.

Arin looked like he was thinking, staring at the carpet. Suddenly, the captain of the ferry spoke once more.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have now docked in Soleanna city. We hope that your journey was satisfactory and that you enjoy the rest of your evening here in Soleanna. Thank you."

"Well, I guess we should go," Blake said, "It's not like he was going to say anything anyway."

As Blake got up, Arin stared at him with slight confusion. The hostility that Blake was giving Arin wasn't needed and both Astrid and Dustin knew it too. Arin then got up and walked off of the ferry with Astrid, who were behind Dustin and Blake.

Almost as soon as they left the ferry, Dustin went further along the docks and looked out onto the ocean.

"I've always wanted to come to Soleanna. Magnificent country with so many sights to see. I mean, there's Castle Town, Soleanna City, the Temple of Solaris and the Great Forest. It's too bad we're not here to hang out," he said, leaning against a metal railing.

"The Great Forest sounds cool. Sounds like a good place to hunt," Blake said, rummaging through his backpack on the ground.

"Nah, you can't. The various species there are protected. People aren't even allowed to build there."

While Blake and Dustin chatted at the docks, Astrid immediately went to one of the officers at the dock. Arin came too, but obviously said nothing.

"Have you seen anything suspicious coming through here today?" she asked, startling the officer.

"Excuse me? You don't just come here and start asking questions, Miss," the officer replied.

"I do not have much time. There was a man coming here. He goes by the call sign 'V'. Do you know anything about that?" Astrid asked.

"Look lady, I don't know who you are, but you're crazy if you think I'll tell you anything. The details of anyone that comes through this port is private."

Astrid sighed, shook her head and walked away from the officer and towards Dustin and Blake. Dustin was still leaning forward, looking at the ocean while Blake was eating a bag of sweets.

"I need to get to somewhere that overlooks the city," Astrid stated.

"Oh, the tallest building in Soleanna is just a few minutes from here," Dustin said. Astrid looked at him quizzically to which he responded, "I've been planning to come here on holiday at some point..."

Astrid sighed then ran off into the shadows of the city. The three guys were left standing near the docks awkwardly.

"Gummy bear?" Blake said, offering the bag to Dustin.

The sable took one and said, "Come on, let's find a cafe or something."

A few minutes later, Astrid had reached the top of the building. It was a tall skyscraper with a logo on the west side of it saying "SRB" which stood for Soleanna Royal Bank. From there, she saw the entire city skyline as well as other areas of Soleanna. As she looked south, into The Great Forest, she noticed a dim yellow light flickering. She determined that it must be where "V" is and climbed down to go and find the guys. Eventually, as she walked down the streets, she saw them through a cafe window. She walked in as Dustin and Blake were finishing their cups of coffee. Arin sat there, quietly listening to music through his earphones.

"Come. I have found something," she said quietly to the group.

"Alright, where?" Blake asked.

"The Great Forest."

"Well, it's best we get a move on then," Dustin said, sitting up from his seat.

The group then quickly walked out of the cafe and headed for the Great Forest's gates to the south to investigate the dim flashing light that Astrid saw before.

Chapter 3: Into the Forest


Great Forest, Soleanna - November 2nd 2013, 21:10 PM


It was almost pitch black in the Great Forest. The trees completely covered the ground and only slivers of moonlight shone through. Luckily for the group, Blake had packed a small flashlight in his backpack.

"So, Astrid, d'ya know anything about the stone?" Dustin asked, stepping on some dead leaves which crackled beneath him.

"I know a small amount, yes. It is a dangerous object. Do not touch it under any circumstances," she replied sternly.

"Hold on a sec. If we can't touch it, then how are we going to get it off the guy?" Blake asked, now confused.

"If this person is sensible enough, he would have put it in a protective case once he has found it," Astrid replied, "Therefore removing the need to touch it."

Dustin, now slightly more curious asked, "What happens if you touch it?"

"Destruction in one of seven different ways," the vixen replied.

"Oh, wonderful," Blake stated sarcastically.

Astrid sighed at Blake's sarcasm and continued to guide him and the others toward the light she saw. A few minutes passed and no one spoke. Arin then walked up next to Astrid and nudged her elbow. She turned to look at him and saw him nod before placing earphones in his ears.

"Arin wishes for you two to know how he and I met," she said, breaking the silence.

"Finally, Earphones is gonna speak," Blake said rudely.

"No, he prefers that I speak," Astrid said.

"I want him to tell it," Blake said, getting frustrated.

"He does not want to, Blake."

Blake stopped, turned and looked directly at Astrid. "Yeah, well I'm not going to trust him until he speaks or does something that proves that I can."

Astrid turned her head and looked at Arin. He had one earphone in his hand and had almost no expression on his face. He shook his head.

Blake tutted and turned back in the direction he was walking. The group continued to walk to their destination.

"Back in Central City, I had noticed that quite a number of police officers were trying to find someone, so I decided to investigate. I tailed the cars until they stopped and surrounded a block of buildings. From the rooftops, I saw Arin climbing into a dumpster," Astrid said.

"Oh great! He's a criminal!" Blake exclaimed with anger.

"Blake, dude, keep it down. We don't want to get spotted by the guy," Dustin advised.

Blake tutted once more and Astrid continued with the story. "I dropped down into the alley that he was in and opened the dumpster. I helped him escape and asked him why he was being chased. At first, I did not receive a reply. However, he eventually told me that he had unwilling used his power to destroy a small shop."

"You're not doing a good job to make me trust him, Astrid," Blake stated.

"It was not his fault. When I discovered him, he was frightened. A person doing that on purpose would most likely not have been."

Blake grunted at Astrid's response. Dustin walked up next to Arin, who hung his head as a walked.

"Don't worry, bud," the sable assured, "I trust you."

Arin let showed a very faint smile towards what Dustin said.

"Hey, guys, I think I found the source of the light," Blake said, alerting Astrid.

Chapter 4: Retrieval


Great Forest, Soleanna - November 2nd 2013, 21:25 PM


In front of the group in the middle of a field that the Great Forest lead to was what seemed to be a camp of sorts. There were a few tall lights that had been turned off and to the right of the group two medium sized camping tents. To their left was a much bigger tent, big enough to fit a family in. Astrid quickly hid behind a tree and waved the three of them over.

"So, uh, how we gonna go about doin' this?" Dustin asked, kneeling on the ground with everyone else.

Astrid looked around the tree and saw a pair of armed guard robots moving into position around the perimeter of the camp.

"Whoever this person is, they have enough money to order robotic forces," Astrid mentioned.

"Great..." Blake sighed.

"Arin, Dustin, can you two keep the guards busy whilst Blake and I retrieve the stone?" She asked.

"You can count on me," Dustin said quietly, yet enthusiastically. Arin replied with a nod and a smirk.

"Let's do this," Blake said.

Dustin stood up and unsheathed the katana from his back, walking off with Arin into the camp. The two armed robots they were walking towards held up their rifles, pointing them at the two men's heads.

[HALT. YOU CANNOT ENTER,] the robots said in unison.

"Why not?" Dustin asked sarcastically.

[HALT. YOU CANNOT ENTER,] they repeated.

"Damn, well isn't that a shame..." Dustin said, once again, sarcastically.

Suddenly, the robots began to have a sky blue hue surround them and started rising from the ground. Dustin looked at them in awe before turning his head towards Arin. His hand gave off the same hue as the robots. The mink flipped his raised hand right around and forced it out, which seemed to send the robots flying off into the distance. Dustin whistled at the sight of the performance, before readying his blade to fend of against incoming reinforcements.

[THREAT DETECTED. PROCEEDING TO ERADICATE,] a group of robots announced, charging towards the two of them.

"Oh yeah? Bring it, bolt heads!" Dustin retorted, charging towards the robots.

The robots fired their semi-automatic rifles at Dustin, missing quite a number of times. The bullets that stayed on target were swiftly cut in half or blocked by the swordsman's blade. Then, roughly two and a half metres away from the robots, he fell to the ground, sliding beneath them and slicing them in half through the middle, destroying them.

"Whoo! C'mon! Where's the rest o' ya!" Dustin shouted as he jumped back onto his feet, readying his blade for more action.

Meanwhile, Astrid and Blake were hiding behind a crate near the bigger tent, waiting to see if the others had distracted the guards. Astrid peaked her head over the crate to see a number of destroyed robots on the ground. She took that as her cue to lead Blake into the tent.

"Come," she said, waving her hand towards the tent.

The two of them quickly walked into the tent before Astrid stopped dead still and looked directly in front of her. Blake on the other hand walked in and started immediately rummaging around until he saw what Astrid was looking at.

"Ah, crap..." he said.

Standing before the two of them was a young and fairly tall wolf-coyote. He wore a grey shirt, blue jeans, a black overcoat and black shoes. He smiled at the two of them with his hands out in front of him.

"Oh, Astrid, it's so very good to see you again," he said, stepping closer to her.

"Joseph...? What are y-"

"Don't call me that, murderer," Joseph barked.

"Wait, hold on. You know him?!" Blake yelled, confused.

"Oh yes, me and dear Astrid have met. Once. And it was such a long time ago," the wolf-coyote replied.

"Why are you doing this?" Astrid said.

"Why? Power of course. Are you seriously that dim, Astrid?" he asked rhetorically.

"This is wrong, Joseph," she replied.

"Wrong? You think that what I'm doing is wrong?! How 'bout murdering a whole group of people? How wrong is that?!" he yelled back.

"You killed a group of people?" Blake said, looking at Astrid.

Astrid started to look angry, "That is not fair, Joseph. They were murderers! I had to put an end to their ways! And do not forget that I was the one that released you."

"Yes. You saved me. I thank you for that. Because, without you, I wouldn't have this," Joseph replied, walking over to a briefcase. He then unclipped it and lifted the lid, revealing a bright red gem.

"Do not leave with that, Joseph," Astrid said, taking a few steps forward.

The sound of a helicopter could be heard outside, quickly getting louder and louder.

"Sorry, but no," he said, turning to exit the tent, "And besides, my name isn't Joseph. It's Voltric. Get it right next time, m'kay?"

Voltric then closed the briefcase and quickly ran out the tent's exit, gripping the case tightly. Astrid followed, with Blake trailing behind her. Outside, bits and pieces of robots were scattered on the ground and Dustin was slicing through them like hot butter. Arin, on the other hand, was overrun, holding back the bullets with his psychokinesis. The helicopter was ready and waiting about eighty metres from the camp. Voltric jumped aboard as soon as he reached and release a blast of lightning from his hand at Astrid and Blake.

"Don't try to chase me!" Voltric shouted over the noise of the helicopter, "You'll only get yourself killed, 'kay?!"

The helicopter began to lift itself off of the ground, but Astrid looked determined to stop it.

More and more robots surrounded Arin, leaving him to collect more bullets, but due to the strain, the psychokinetic field he was producing was beginning to fail. He had one final option, and it was the only one to save himself. The young mink stopped producing the field. He then knelt on the ground and ice quickly formed around his body. The bullets now did nothing as the ice reformed as soon as they hit. A few seconds passed, then suddenly, Arin broke out of his shell, launching ice shards everywhere at a high speed.

The rest of the group noticed, and quickly dropped to the ground, narrowly escaping the blast. However, the helicopter, now in mid-air was not so lucky. Shards of ice hit the propellers, tearing holes clean through them and one shard had lodged itself inside the helicopter's tail. This all cause it to spin out of control and it began to quickly grow closer to the ground. The helicopter smacked into the ground, but continued to move with it's blades heading straight for Astrid and Blake.

"Move!" Astrid yelled, beginning to dive out of the way.

Chapter 5: Crash


Great Forest, Soleanna - November 2nd 2013, 21:45 PM


The group were on the ground, covering their heads. Dirt and debris fell on them as smoke filled the air. The helicopter was also on the ground and was at this point, irreparable. Its blades were broken and bent, the tail was no longer straight and one of the fuel tanks was leaking onto the soil.

Astrid got up and brushed the soil off of her with her hands. "Is everyone okay?" she asked.

Dustin laid himself flat on the ground. "Yup. Nothing broken. Tired though."

Arin got up and touched his face. When he lifted his hand off of his face, he noticed blood. He felt his face a bit more to get an idea of the size of the wound. When he realised that it was only a small cut, he shrugged it off.

"Never again. Please?" Blake asked, to which Astrid responded with a snigger.

Astrid looked over at the crash site and saw the briefcase lying in a puddle of fuel. Voltric was crawling towards it. She walked over and picked it up from in front of him. He pointed his hand towards her as if to use his electrokinesis.

"I would not. One spark will set the fuel alight," Astrid stated.

Voltric grunted, "I was so close..."

"Yes, you were very close. Close to possibly dooming the world, Joseph," the vixen responded.

"I said, don't call me that!" the hybrid yelled back.

"Why are you doing this?"

"I want power. I've been beneath everyone for so damn long! I wanted a chance to boss someone else around for a change," he replied.

Blake walked over and said, "Okay, he's a brat."

"I am not!" Voltric yelled.

"This is not the way to get what you want," Astrid said to Voltric.

Voltric stood up, hunched over, with an angered look. "What's the right way then, huh? Killing a bunch of people if they do the wrong thing!?"

"Hey, back off kid! Whatever Astrid did, I'm sure she has her reasons," Blake said, looking at Astrid.

Astrid looked at the ground before turning her gaze to the briefcase in her hands. "We should get this to the authorities."

As she said this, sirens could be heard, quickly escalating in volume.

"We should leave. We don't want to get caught in this," Dustin said, walking over to Astrid.

"Agreed," she said. She looked back at Voltric, "I would tell you not to move, but your injuries seem to be assisting me in that respect."

"You bi-" Voltric began, before Blake kicked him in the shin. He landed in the helicopter fuel and cried out, holding his leg.

"That's enough from you," Blake said, folding his arms.

Astrid turned and began walking. "Come. We should go."

"What about him?" Dustin said, referring to Voltric.

"He is far to injured to successfully escape. He will be arrested by the authorities," she replied.

The rest of the group then followed her back into the forest.

"I'll be back! And next time I'll win! I WILL RULE!" Voltric screamed as the group reentered the forest.

The police, ambulance and fire services then arrived and the group were already gone before they could be seen at the crash site. A couple of officers grabbed the hybrid, who looked into the forest with rage, by the arms and dragged him to a nearby police car.

By this point, the group of four were already in the middle of the forest, finding their way back to Soleanna City.

"So, what happens now?" Dustin asked.

"We take the stone to the local police station and leave Soleanna as soon as possible," she replied.

Silence followed her reply for at least four or five minutes before Blake broke it with a question all of the three guys were wondering.

"Hey, um, Astrid. Is it true? What that Voltric guy said?" he asked.

The vixen sighed and stayed silent for a moment before finally answering, "Yes."

"Care to elaborate?" Blake asked.

"Almost two years ago now, I was unknowingly a part of an ancient order of immoral assassins. They took me in during hard times and trained me to be one of them, without knowing they were heartless murderers. When I found out, I did to them what they did to many others... and I deeply regret it," she replied, looking at the ground.

"Oh... uh..." Blake said, trying to form some sort of sentence.

"Okay, this is awkward. Moving on. New conversation," Dustin said, clapping his hands together.

"Alright. About what?" Blake asked.

"Do you," the sable started, pointing at Blake, "Trust him?" he continued, moving his arm to point at Arin.

As soon as his name was mentioned, Arin flicked his hood up. Blake walked over to him.

"What you did was reckless," he began. "...however, you did kinda save the world in a way."

Arin looked to the left of himself slightly, with a confused look on his face.

"I think you're alright," Blake said with a smirk.

Arin smirked as well, but towards the ground.

"Thanks," he said unexpectedly.

"Hold up, you spoke," Dustin said, with some excitement, "Whoo! Everyone's friends!"

As Dustin celebrated, the group continued to walk through the forest, tired, but successful in their task. The group finally made it into the city and the three males of the group went to go find the nearest motel whilst Astrid delivered the briefcase to the nearest police station, being mindful not to get spotted. Afterwards, she too went to a motel, paying with money she'd collected over time. The team got some well earned rest.

Epilogue: Solaris' Shrine


Castle Town, Soleanna - November 3rd 2013, 07:30 AM


It was early in the morning in Soleanna and Astrid was already wide awake. She decided that before her boat back to the United Federation arrived, she'd visit Soleanna's Castle Town. As the sun rose in the sky, she looked at the Altar of Flames in all it's beauty from one of the surrounding bridges. Suddenly, a strange wolf walked up and stood next to the vixen and looked at the altar with her.

"Brilliant, isn't it," he said. The wolf was wearing a very expensive outfit with a designer jacket, shirt and jeans.

"It's called "The Altar of Flames". The Soleanna's monarch sets it alight every year during the Soleanna Sun Festival to celebrate the sun god, Solaris," the wolf continued.

Astrid stood there and did not respond, continuing to look at the altar.

"This whole country is amazing. Great scenery, great atmosphere, great food..."

"You want something," Astrid suddenly said.

"I wouldn't be standing here and talking like a creep for any other reason," he replied.

Astrid turned and looked at him, "What is it?"

"We've been watching you, Astrid," he replied in a dead serious tone.

"Excuse me?"

"We've been tracking your every move. From the moment you got picked up by The Clan, we've been monitoring you," he replied, now looking at her.

"You have no right to spy on me," she said angrily.

"I know. But you're just what we're looking for."

"Tell me who you work for," Astrid ordered with her hand now on the hilt of her sheathed blade.

"I work for the Guardian Units of Nations' Science and Intelligence Division. I go by Agent Jacob Lawson sometimes too," the wolf responded.

"What do you want from me?" she asked.

"Just a favour," the agent answered.

Astrid backed down, now putting her hand by her side. "What kind of favour?"

"You'll have to wait and see," the wolf replied.

"Wonderful," she said sarcastically, "What do I receive in return?"

"Well, we won't arrest you for the various crimes you've committed, such as petty theft, murder, assisting a criminal and destruction of private property, just to name a few," he replied.

"Blackmail is illegal, Agent Lawson," Astrid said seriously.

"Well it's a good thing that I operate outside the law, isn't it?" Jacob said rhetorically in reply.

"So you, an agent for G.U.N, are asking me, an assassin, to help you with a problem that has yet to be discovered?" Astrid asked.

"Yeah, pretty much," the wolf replied.

Astrid sighed, "Just tell me what you want and I will assist you."

Jacob took a step closer and whispered, "If I say anything to you here, things go south very quickly."

"I do not trust you," the fox began, "But, I am interested in what you have to say."

"Good. Now come with me," Lawson said, standing back from Astrid.

"Where to?" she asked.

"Over by the bell tower near the ocean is a car waiting for us, we can talk in there as we drive to where we need to go," Lawson stated.

"You lead, I shall follow," she said.

Jacob began walking off, leading Astrid to a new task. She didn't know it yet, but it was going to be much more intense than the conflict in the previous evening.

"Agent, I have to warn you about something," she started.

"Go ahead," the wolf insisted.

"If you are lying about anything, you life is forfeit."

"Bit extreme, don't you think?" Lawson asked.

Considering that Jacob already knew that Astrid had been tricked before, she stopped and folded her arms.

"Wha- Oh... Right. Sorry," he replied, awkwardly.

After his apology, Astrid continued to follow him, unknowingly walking into more inevitable danger...


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