Valentine, Texas - 2 Months After the Crisis
The practically one-road town not too far from the border between Texas and Mexico looked like the set of a disaster movie. Cop cars had been knocked aside with large dents in the side, there were a few large bloody dents in the brick wall of the local bar, and the open door of the bar revealed a scene straight from a horror movie. The two suited men were quick to notice these details as they stood in front of their black SUV. Agent Phil Coulson removed his sunglasses as he knelt down next to the corpse of the police captain. His chest appeared to have collapsed in on itself. It wasn’t a pleasant sight, to say the least.
The other agent peered into the bar and took a step inside, making a quick scan of the scene as he walked to the other side of the bar and towards a large corpse that was missing half of one of his legs. Agent Masters examined the plethora of bullet holes lodged within the wooden booth and surrounding walls, before looking back towards the door. Not a single stray bullet had been fired in that direction.
Coulson entered the bar, shaking his head at the sign of the past bloodbath. ”You sure this was him? I’ve worked with him for years, and he doesn’t just go around shooting up bars in the middle of nowhere without a reason.”
Tony didn’t even look in Phil’s direction as he examined the countertop of the corner table. ”The locals in the bar all died from various gunshot wounds. They missed nearly every single shot. The other gunman didn’t miss a single shot.”
Tony pulled out a small evidence bag and a small scalpel and carefully began chipping away at part of the table before using his gloved hand to place the sample in the bag. He tossed it across the bar with impeccable aim to Coulson, who only just managed to react in time to catch it. ”That blood sample should confirm it. I’m going to call in a Forensics team to see if we can figure out where he is going. He couldn’t have made it too far.”
Valentine, Texas - The Night Before Interaction(s): None
Previously: Issue 2.01.01:Show me the Way (ABOVE)
A raucous cacophony of cheers erupted in the small bar as a crowd of men in red vests began clapping each other on the back. It was the sort of bar you might expect to find in a backwater town like Valentine: the walls were littered with the paraphernalia and articles about the local high school sports teams, a few animal heads were hung up near the entrances, the single tv mounted in the bar looked like it was from the 80s and was barely holding on to life, and the only choice for alcohol were a plethora of domestic beers. Everyone in the bar had been born in town… with the exception of one person sitting in the corner. He was huddled over a greasy burger and a glass of water, doing his best to ignore the cheers from the other patrons.
Of course, that was never going to last on an occasion like this.”Oi! Ginger! Why tha fuck aren’t ya celebratin’?”
The leader of this motley crew tilted his head from the midst of the crowd. He was a rather large man, standing at six and a half feet easy. Roy Harper simply kept digging in to his burger, grease dripping from his scruffy chin. He didn’t have to look up to see the boulder of a man lumbering towards the corner: the sound of the creaking floorboards were enough to give it away.”You fuckin’ deaf? Or are you a tard?”
Roy finished chewing as his eyes turned up towards the man. [color=red]”It’s 2019, are we really still calling the disabled ‘retarded?’”
The man’s face contorted in anger for a moment as he looked down towards Roy, before looking back towards his friends. They looked over quizzically, which was just enough to get the man to flash a smug grin. "Well, ya ain’t deaf. So why aren’t ya raising a glass to celebrate a good hunt?”
Harper looked the man over before turning his gaze back towards the rest of the bar patrons. There were more guns in the bar than people. So Roy picked up his glass of water and lifted it in the air, giving a fake smile towards the instigator. ”Cheers.”
The glass shattered almost instantly as the hunter slapped Roy’s hand downward. Harper’s eyes, pointed downward, flashed with anger as he assessed the damage to his hand. Luckily, it was just a small cut: nothing he couldn’t fix easily. The former archer reached into his pocket to pull out a small red bandana that he quickly wrapped around his hand and tied up with the help of his teeth. ”You don’t cheer with water, you dumb fuck. Somebody get him a pint!”
As the barkeep quickly poured a pint, Roy shook his head and tried to wave his hand in the direction of the barkeep. ”I can’t have beer. I’m an alcoholic, and if I-”
The patrons of the bar began laughing as the barkeep nervously stepped out from behind the bar and walked over towards the table. The instigator snorted before lowering his face down next to Roy’s. ”Listen here… you’re going to lift that glass in a cheers to our successful mutie hunt, drain that stuff down your throat, and get out of our town before the sun rises in the morning. We don’t like you outsiders around these parts… and not accepting our generous gift of a beer might make us think that you’re refusing to cheer cause you’re some sort of mutie lover…”
The barkeep set the glass down on the table and quickly hobbled back behind his bar, pretending to nervously check something under the cabinets. Roy looked the instigator in the eyes before his gaze was drawn towards a tattoo on the neck… a tattoo he hadn’t seen in a few months. Of course they’re watchdogs…
Through gritted teeth, Roy practically spit out, ”I didn’t come here looking for trouble… but hunting people like animals just because they are different… that’s where I draw the fucking line.”
The next three seconds were a blur for the instigator. Just as his nostrils flared and he cocked his arm back for a swing towards the ginger fuck, the watchdog heard a loud bang followed by searing pain in his left knee. Pain unlike anything he had felt before, he might add. The “outlaw” had pulled out a sawed-off shotgun from under his duster jacket next to him, and now the outlaw rested it directly against the watchdog’s sternum as he pulled a rather large semi-auto handgun from a holster on his belt and rested it on the watchdog’s shoulder. Roy gave a small smile as the others immediately began drawing for their own weapons, and he looked over the watchdog’s shoulder while nodding towards the man’s now missing left leg. ”Your friend needs medical attention. Might be best you all just walk away before this place becomes a Jackson Pollock knock-off.”
The other patrons of the bar seemed to cock their heads to the side in collective confusion, forcing Roy to roll his eyes. ”Damn it, go to a museum sometime… point is, y’all can either walk away now or go back to your families in a casket.”
They chose poorly. Half the other patrons drew their choice of firearm and pointed it in Roy’s direction. Roy sighed and pulled the trigger on his sidearm, firing a single well-aimed shot at one of the hostiles in the center of the crowd. Brain matter flew out the back of the man’s head into the open eyes and mouth of an armed man behind him. As that man began tearing up and gagging, the rest began trying to circle around, shooting wide shots to try and scare Roy. That trick wasn’t going to work. Three more shots from Roy, and three more of the bar’s patrons fell to the ground. There were still about twelve armed patrons left, trying to circle around the outlaw with his back in the corner.
They didn’t realize that this was the chance Roy was waiting for. To his left, there was a normal table and some chairs that one of the hostiles was circling towards to get a shot off with his hunting rifle. With a shove, the watchdog instigator was left flailing backwards and soaking up a few shots from in front of Roy as he flicked the safety on for his handgun. Roy threw the handgun towards the man who was about to get a shot on him before ducking his head and charging left to knock the table over for cover. Some shots impacted against the wall behind Roy as he managed to lift up the table with his right hand just in time to take a few shots. The hostile with the rifle had just about recovered from getting a solid piece of metal thrown into his face when he saw the barrel of a shotgun. Then he saw nothing as his head was blown to hell.
Roy ducked his back behind the table and felt the vibrations in the wood as the rest of the hostiles kept up their barrage of bullets in his direction. Roy didn’t have much time to think. Luckily, he was able to catch a decent reflection in a framed newspaper article. Roy picked up his sidearm once again and fired around the corner of the table. Four shots, four dead. Only 7 were left, but their hail of bullets wouldn’t let up.
So he assessed the scene and tried to think of the best way to distract the others. Roy fumbled with the revolver in the deceased hostile’s belt and set it on his lap before reaching towards his pocket and pulling out a lighter. The outlaw quickly tossed the lighter off to his side. It was just the distraction he needed as the other bar patrons all turned their guns in the direction of the lighter to continue their volley of bullets. Roy used this opportunity to jump to his feet, one sidearm in each hand as he lit up the remaining hostiles. And then there were none.
The cops arrived on the scene once the violence had ended, and just as a lone unarmed individual exited the small bar with his hands raised in the air. Three cop cars arrived at the scene, and before the cars even reached a complete stop the officers had their guns pulled and were barking orders to the lone figure. He didn’t resist, and simply knelt down slowly before lowering himself to the ground and placing his palms on the ground. Two officers rushed up and dug their knees into Roy’s back as they continued aiming their guns at the outsider. The Captain of the small police force opened up the door to the bar and nearly threw up at the sight of the carnage inside. He pulled his sidearm and pushed aside his other officers as he placed the barrel of the gun against Roy’s temple, screaming the question, ”What have you done?!”
Roy remained quiet, gritting his teeth at the pain for a moment. Until he heard a rumbling in the distance. He recognized that faint roaring sound. And it wasn’t a good sign… not now. ”We need to get out of here… now.””YOU ARE IN NO POSITION TO GIVE ORDERS, ASSHAT!”
As the roar began to grow louder, the other officers moved to hide behind their cars and draw their weapons. A lone light appeared and grew louder, but as the cops tried barking out commands, their voices were drowned out by a distant scream.