After watching while the last of the laser beams burned their way into the old man’s thick armor, he lunged forward intent on meeting his death on his feet. In the back of his mind, he silently cursed his defiant streak for not letting him just give up like he’d wanted. Before he’d gone ten feet he saw the old man and his thugs lining up a dozen pistols on his unarmored chest. Closing his eyes, he waited for the inevitable pain that came from a laser burning its way into his body. All he heard though was the echoing detonations of several pulse rounds and the screams of dying men. Stopping in his tracks, he saw the old man being hefted off his feet only to be thrown further down the passageway towards him. In his place stood the one man in the galaxy he’d never wanted to see again, but was glad he was there all the same.
Everything seemed to stop as Lance watched the newcomer in dull black armor hefted the old man to his feet once more. The man pulled the old man Lance had beat at the tables closer to his face while uttering; “Ya tell your boys to just let well enough alone or the next round I fire finds your head.” To Lance, the man’s words sounded like a whisper, but by the look on the old man’s face, he could tell they carried more weight than a freighter being dropped on him. Lance figured the fight was over, at least he hoped it was. Not many defied the man in black and lived to tell the tale, and certainly not a cowardly low-life snake like the old man.
In a broken hoarse voice, he heard the old man yell out to the rest of the thugs arrayed against him, “Let’s go boys, this snake of a gambler isn’t worth our time.” This time Lance knew it was really over. Or just beginning depending on how he wanted to look at it. He’d been saved from the thugs, only to have to deal with a man he had no desire to see mad. If even half the rumors he’d heard about the man in black were true, it was going to be a hell of a night. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about being killed by the assassin. Not with the man in black watching his back.
“Thank you,” said Lance just loud enough for the man in black to hear.
The man in black didn’t say a word, just released the old man and waited with twin pulse pistols in hand until the old man and his thugs had disappeared from view. Only then did Lance hear the man speak, and not in a friendly sounding tone as he said; “One of these days your gonna end up in a box Fellion.”
“Thanks to you it won’t be today. I have something I have to do real quick though if you’ll excuse me,” said Lance with a nod towards the man in black.
“Ya ain’t getting away that easy Fellion. I came to find ya, and hear all ya got to tell me about them murders in the gambling hall. Seems the Captain is a tad bit anxious to talk to ya too.”
“Sorry Lecroix, I appreciate you saving me and all but there’s a very good reason I can’t talk to you.”
“Ya ain’t going anywhere till I get some answers. Assassin coming for you or not we are going to talk NOW! Ya understand?”
“So, what do you want to talk about?” answered Lance, slumping his shoulders in defeat.