You know, that standard rifle is a piece of garbage. That’s the idea that kept racing through my logic scripts as I shot at the Delsabres in the Linear Line. Lou, my training officer, was helpful in keeping the enemies away, but I knew in an instant that I was going to need some quick cash for a new arsenal.
It’s really the story of my life since I started as a Guardian here in the Gurhal system. I’ve ferried back and forth to Parum and Neudaiz from the GUARDIANS Colony in search of work to keep myself afloat and up to date with the latest weapons available. Every morning, I start up, head down, kill countless contaminated wildlife that have been infected by the SEED outbreak, then return home to tend to my store where I try to unload my excess loot from the day’s take. For a while, I made these journeys alone, but that all changed when I ran into an old classmate from the Guardians academy.
Dougie, or Douglas as his mother calls him, was always a pretty hot-headed Beast in the Academy, but his temper had seemed to calm quite a bit when I ran into him in the Holtes City West District shopping for a rifle. He had just purchased a new Claymore and was eager to take that De Ragan hunting job that was listed all over the place. Apparently, De Ragans were popping up in record numbers all over the place and provided a near-limitless amount of work to Guardians who were brave, or foolish, enough to hunt them down.
We enlisted the help of some local Hunters to help bring our first De Ragan down. To reach its lair, we had to fight through the local wildlife that had turned feral. We must have cut through a couple-hundred Koltova as we made our way through the grassy plains and patches of forest. When we finally reached the beast, we thought we were dead on the spot.
Instead of catching the De Ragan asleep in its lair like we had planned, we actually found it as it searched for prey. Not only was it awake and fully capable of defending itself, but it was hungry to boot. When Plarin and Jake, our two hunter companions, went down, Dougie and I were desperate for any kind of a plan in beating this gigantic fire breathing lizard. My blaster, supplemented by plasma shot upgrades, was barely phasing the beast. Dougie couldn’t even reach it with his Claymore unless it was on the ground, which made him a sitting duck for its fireball and breath attacks.
Luckily enough for Dougie, I was able to squeeze a round off to hit it between the eyes and distract its landing as it tried to crush him. With the beast stunned, Dougie got a dozen quick strikes at it’s underbelly and the fight was over. We had managed to kill a full-grown De Ragan in the open field and were instantly hailed as heroes.
Tales of our exploits rang across the Guardian Colony. That is, until another squad accomplished the exact feat the next week. This team not only defeated the beast while it was out on its hunt, but they did so without a single party member falling in combat, fetching them an even great bonus than us. Who were these Guardians that topped our feat and stole our glory? Fate, it seemed, would work in everyone’s favor as we would soon stumble into them for the greatest hunt of our careers.
Dougie ran into Pain and Zebo by chance as he posted Help Wanted notices on all the notice boards. Neither Dougie nor the pair knew exactly who everyone was, but we would soon find out that we were in the company of a fine Hunter and the first Force we had the pleasure of working with. Pain was a very no-nonsense Human wielding a single-green blade who performed incredible acrobatic strikes. His Rising Strike move was twice as deadly as it was beautiful. Zebo, on the other hand, was a very cocky Force with a chip on his shoulder. This Force kept flapping his gums about the latest in popular entertainment as we continued on, bugging those such as myself with no need for digital entertainment. Still, he had been in the business longer and had more experience than the rest of us so he ran the show as we embarked to hunt the biggest reported De Ragan on the planet.
We caught him as he exited his lair in the early morning. The ugly bastard didn’t know what hit him as Zebo launched a huge fireball at him and Pain swiped at his legs with his photon saber. Dougie’s raw strength, Pain’s elegant blade, Zebo’s Force support, and my rifle were more than this one could handle, and the battle was over before it began. We could tell instantly that this was the start of something special for our little group.
Clyez City’s fourth floor Linear Line lobby would be our daily meeting place where we would discuss our day’s quarry and our plan of action. After a few days with Pain, I decided to put my rifles away for the time being and learn the art of the dual sabers. With a little time, I was able to use my superior mechanic agility to mirror Pain and pull off outstanding combos such as the Rising Crush. Swinging my Dual Pallasches alongside Pain and Dougie was truly a sight to behold.
Our group gained a couple members as we continued to meet daily. Unit 002 and Dark Fate joined up just as Zebo parted ways with us to start up his own squad. Parum no longer challenged us as we continued to advance our skills and purchase stronger equipment. Our stores were even doing record business. No one sold more out of our group than Pain, who was getting supplies for free from his new “friend” Leska, a Force that would otherwise never even give us the time of day. Still, she saw something in Pain and saw it necessary to outfit him with quality goods. Who are we to complain?
Neudaiz became our new stomping grounds as we continued to grow in strength. The bestiary on the Newman-governed planet was much more prone to using elemental-based attacks to defend themselves during our hunts. I had to remain extra careful to avoid many of the ice attacks since I was still equipped with fire-based armor from our De Ragan hunts. Worms popping out of the ground from every direction would also prove quite difficult to overcome – we had to save Dark’s butt from losing an arm on more than one occasion.
Our first big game hunt on Neudaiz was the Adahna Degahna, a gigantic hovering robot with rockets and a laser cannon that was crashing around inside the Hakura Temple. To even get to this gigantic robot we had to fight through dozens of armed servants and Bysha bots. These bots were especially dangerous because they self-destructed when defeated, damaging anything within a few meters of the blast. If I had a meseta for every time I fell to my ass from a concussion blast, I could cover that fancy Megaline armor I dropped 18K on last week. Luckily we had Leska along with us to keep our wounds healed and our group intact. Pain’s sugar-momma is one stand up gal in my book.
We approached the giant robot with caution and tried to come up with a plan on the fly. As the group engaged the enemy, I stayed behind to analyze its attack patterns and look for a weakness. Sure enough, I noticed that there was a safe region behind its engines in back to strike against its vital circuitry. With the lumbering mech distracted, I struck it from behind with six quick slashes and followed with an upward Rising Crush smash. Aside from a few scratches to our team avoiding the missile and laser fire, we all walked away unscathed with another victory to hang our hats on.
It was at this point that Pain and I decided to form the Spirits of the Future Sun. Named after one of Pain’s favorite music act’s songs, our group decided to focus on daily hunts on Neudaiz and Parum. Our initial members, Pain, Dougie, Dark Fate, were all issued custom, pure white Buster sabers to commemorate the group. No more than a day after our establishment, our first recruit, a female Force named Clarity, joined the team to fill Leska’s role in her absence. It was also around this time that I was able to calibrate my SUV weaponry to my Megaline armor. Dougie also realized his ability to transform into an unstoppable hulking-blue beast. We felt unstoppable and decided to test our chances against the Onmagoug on Neudize.
That poor flying bastard didn’t stand a chance against us. We spent a grand total of 45 Standard minutes blazing through the Neudaiz wild land and reached the Onmagoug with full Photon stores and recovery items. We didn’t need them anyway since the Onmagoug didn’t even get the chance to escape my SUV attack. Pain, Dark Fate, and Dougie in his Beast mode overpowered the giant beast in seconds. Pain’s fatal strike the throat of the Onmagoug sealed its fate and marked us as heroes yet again. Flying back to the Colony with fuller pockets and our name in the crowds, we knew that we were on our way.