VenomJaw's Shadow


7/9/20232 min read

The ferocious roar of the Nomad's thrusters echoed as I descended onto Elara's homestead. Far from the serene rural haven Muk had chosen for his peaceful retreat, the farmstead now bore the grim countenance of a battlefield. Farmers worked with frantic urgency, their plows transformed into makeshift barricades. Their faces, etched with resolution and trepidation, looked up as the hum of the ship's engines filled the air.

Muk was waiting for me as I stepped off the Nomad. The laughter that once lived in his eyes was now replaced with a stern, grim determination. He wasted no time with pleasantries, diving straight into the dire situation at hand. "VenomJaw's at the helm of the Marauders now," he said with a mirthless chuckle. "Quite the regal moniker for a pirate, eh?" His voice trailed off. "But VenomJaw isn't our real problem here. The real trouble is 'Chaos' Cartwright. The man's got the fastest trigger finger in the galaxy."

I considered this, the gravity of the situation sinking in. "So, what's our move, Muk? How can I assist?"

"We need more firepower," Muk said, his eyes meeting mine.

"I might have something for that." I led him into the cargo hold of the Nomad. Beneath a non-descript tarp lay my secret reserve: twenty high-grade laser rifles, polished and prepped for action.

Muk looked at the cache, a faint smile of surprise etching on his weathered face. "Well, aren't you a chest of hidden treasures, Moe?"

We set about unloading the weaponry, the heavy silence punctuated by Muk's tales of Cartwright. The man was more than a sharpshooter, he was a lethal force of nature, capable of threading a laser blast through the eye of a needle from half a kilometer away. "Cartwright won't just initiate a firefight, Moe. He's a finisher," Muk's voice was filled with a somber respect for the sharpshooter's lethal proficiency.

As the last of the rifles hit the ground, a fleet of vehicles thundered into the compound. The vehicles bore the bold emblem of Green Goliath AgroCorp. Out stepped a man, his smug demeanor mirroring the corporate arrogance of the logo on his lavish suit. Hannibal Trent, the ruthless owner of Green Goliath, stood flanked by his heavily armed entourage.

Trent yelled across to Elara, his voice a chilling wind in the tense air. "Before this pirate showed up, you were a competent farmer, Elara. You knew your place. Now, you either send Muk away and toe the line, or we burn your livelihood to the ground."

With a harsh laugh, Trent signaled to his men. The door of one vehicle swung open and a figure was roughly thrown onto the dusty ground. Elara's son. His left hand was gone, a crimson stain blooming on the ground beneath him. He lay still as death, the grotesque display a gruesome testament to Trent's threat.

Trent's cruel laughter rang out as he climbed back into his vehicle. "You have until noon tomorrow. Make the right choice or things get uglier." As the dust from their departure settled, the setting sun painted long, ominous shadows over the homestead. We were left with the bitter echo of Trent's threat and the sight of Elara's son, a grim harbinger of the battle that loomed ahead.