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The Man With No Name

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"Mistah Steel!!" Rita shouted into my coms, "you've got a new case!"

Maybe it was the fact that I hadn't had a case in a few weeks. Maybe it was the intrigue. But, for whatever reason, I dragged myself out of my office. My name is Juno Steel, I'm a private eye, and I'm bored out of my mind.

"What is it, Rita?"

"Well, this woman just called me all crazy talkin' about this scary monster thing and, you know, it reminded me of a stream I saw the other night about Bigfoot from Venus, which is honestly probably one of the best Venus Bigfoot streams I've seen in a while. Well, maybe not best but-"

I cleared my throat as obnoxiously as possible. "The case, Rita."

"Right, yeah, so this woman, she calls and says her son has been taken and she doesn't know where he is and she doesn't know what to do! She sounded so sad, Boss! I think she was cryin'!"

"A kidnapping, huh? Does she have any idea where he could be?"

"There's a GPS on his coms that I already tracked down. It's about a mile away."

"Tell her I'll take it."

And that's how I ended up in the low class district of Hyperion City. I'd been around here for quite a few different cases, mostly robberies, but I don't think I'd ever seen this particular building before. It looked like someone had modeled it off of Old Town, completely rundown with most entrances blocked off and windows boarded, pretty classic "scary building that makes perfect sense to have someone be kidnapped into" kind of building. Really fit the atmosphere. After walking the perimeter of the building and seeing nothing, I figured the only way out was through. I found the least intact window I could find and hopped in.

The inside of the building was somehow even more musty than the outside, with old, icky insulation in pieces on the ground along with the occasional dead rat. I tried to sneak as best as I could, listening for sounds of struggle or talking or, well, anything really. The entire building was eerily quiet. Actually, now that I think about it, it's not just quiet, it's silent. Completely. No sounds of the building settling, no scavengers scurrying, just nothing.

Until, of course, I heard something crunch beneath my feet. I held my breath for a moment, waiting for someone to find me, and when nothing came, I slowly lifted my foot. It was a set of coms, freshly crushed by yours truly. As I studied it, I realized it wasn't just any coms, it was his coms. The boy I was looking for. Idris Raydon, as I read on his broken monitor. Well, at least I was in the right place. I continued walking.

Besides the pointed lack of sound, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. No signs of blood, no patterns in the dust suggesting a fight, no footprints. I rounded a corner into a hallway with four doors, two on each side. I test the first: locked. The second: also locked. As I turn towards the third door, I saw it was slightly ajar. I walked over and push ever so slightly, and what I saw next my mind couldn't comprehend. A man, except it certainly wasn't a man. At least eight feet tall, with three mouths and six eyes smashed seemingly randomly onto his face, as though a young child had built him. His face looked almost cracked and resewn, like Frankenstein's monster. I had seen an alien or two in my life before, but this was... different. I was frozen in place, with no idea what to do. And that's when I felt two hands grab me and pull me backwards into the fourth room.

I wriggled out of their grip and spun around, pulling out my blaster as they shut the door behind us. "What the-"

All he offered was a finger over his lips and a small smirk in response. What a bastard. What a... handsome bastard. Even in the dim light I could see the sparkle in his hickory-colored eyes, his sharp nose and pointed jawline, one that could bring anyone to their knees. I quickly snapped out of it and scanned the room. It was a fairly ordinary broom closet, nothing on the shelves worth noting. I'm not sure why he dragged me in here.

The mystery man arched his eyebrow at me and looked down sharply at my blaster, the one which I still had planted into his stomach. Just as I was about to make some sort of dry remark, I heard loud, horrifying stomps barrelling towards us. The entire room shook with the weight of each step. The man grabbed a small, mechanical rod out of one of the pockets of his trenchcoat, pointed it at the ground, and turned it on. The tip began to glow a bright green, and he grabbed ahold of my arm tightly and pulled me towards his side. Next thing I knew, we were being propelled upwards to who knows where. We landed on a platform on the second floor, just as I heard the door to the closet get obliterated beneath us.

"I suggest we run," the man declared, his accent unrecognizable.

He didn't have to tell me twice. We ran, feet flying, each springing step echoing across the open floor. The man's hand was still firmly planted on my wrist. I wasn't exactly sure why I was following him, but I thought I'd have better chances following a man who seemed to know what he was doing as opposed to facing that monster alone. We turned another corner, and I suddenly realized where we were heading. An open window. I didn't have to look behind me to know the monster was gaining.

The man looked behind me, eyes wild. "Time to jump!"

The adrenaline was coursing through me, and I knew there was really no alternative. So, I jumped.