Episode 1: "And So It Begins…"

The beginning is a truly fragile time. In the year 433 of the Space calendar, humanity has extended its reach to the stars and beyond; leaving few areas left to be explored by humans. In this era, the only "power" of the universe is the tremendous strength of the Space Forces and their Security Fleets. In this time, there are no organizations of piracy; and there are no renegades or rogue vigilantes. However, this time of historical stagnancy has yet to encounter the force of the powerful winds of change.

"Hey, kid," the bartender began to ask his teenage customer sitting at a table next to the doorway. "Don't you need to get goin' now? I mean, it's already 2 a.m."

The boy looked up and took another swig of his bottle of vodka. "Nope," he answered plainly. "I'm waiting for someone." Shortly after the boy's statement, a strong-looking man walked in through the door and up to the bartender.

"What'll you have?" the dispenser of spirits asked.

The newcomer simply uttered, "Nothing."

"Then why the hell are you here at this god-forsaken hour?" the bar-keep inquired.

"I wanted to ask you," the stranger began. "Have you seen this person?" He took out a prison photo of teenage boy with messy black hair, and an eye patch around his right eye. The bartender looked at the photo, and then pointed over to the teenager sitting at the table near the door.

"Just do me a favor," the bartender requested. "Take it outside, please?"

The man walked over to his target as if he hadn't heard the other man's words, and kicked over the table the boy sat at. He just kept drinking, though, until the man spoke.

"So, you're Hoth?" the man asked sarcastically.

"It's about fucking time, jackass." The boy known as Hoth grinned. "Let's get this over with…"

"Hey, you lil' prick!" the older man growled. "I'm not like the rest of those fuck-tards. I happen to be a cybernetic Class B warrior!" and with a simple twitch of the man's right arm, it exploded into a long blade of shimmering metal.

"Great, another blade fanatic..." Hoth pulled out his gun-axe, its double crescent-blade a dark obsidian luster. After a quick loading of a shell magazine, he held the trigger down, releasing the kinetic energy of the shell and focusing it to amplify the blade's sonic frequency, ensuring deeper and deadlier cuts.

"Your move, jackass," Hoth smiled as he readied his axe for battle. The cyborg lunged with a heavy roar, his arm slicing toward the boy's flank. The super-soldier parried with his axe's foregip, then used the force of his opponent's weight to swing the arm blade off to the side and making its owner stumble forward. If he was quick enough, Hoth could hack his back with a single swing. Just as he brought the axe blade down, however, the cybernetic man spun around the boy and stabbed the blade through the back of his lung, crimson spraying in a burst.

"Fuck…!" the black-haired boy coughed as he slid off the metal and hit the ground in a thud, his grip loosening on the axe, causing the blade to cease its ultrasonic vibration.

"My god!" the bartender gawked. "He was just a kid!"

"That thing right there?" the cyborg asked as he tapped his boot against the body of Hoth. "That is a bastard of genetic engineering and cloning. It's just a little monster that the Mjolnir Corporation accidentally let escape. I was supposed to capture him and get the maximum bounty, but this little faggot was weaker than I thought."

"Mjolnir? The weapons corporation? What the fuck are they doing with human clones?"

"None of my concern. I'm just getting the bounty for his queer carcass." The cybernetic man's arm deconstructed into a mechanized arm once more as he went to the bar. "I'll take a bottle of your strongest whiskey. Hell, make it White Lightning!" he laughed.

"Um…Yes sir…" the older man nodded nervously and poured the killer a drink. With the first shot downed, the cyborg took the bottle and started guzzling it all down at once.

"You know what goes great with that?" a voice mentioned.

"What?" the bounty-hunter responded without looking.

"A Bloody Mary."

"Pff! I hate that shit."

"Who said you're drinking it?"

"Huh?" and just as the cyborg turned to see who the hell was talking, he came to face Hoth, his face plastered with a sickening grin, just as he brought his axe down on the man's shoulder, slicing his torso in half to the hip-bone. As the cybernetic man's upper body fell to the floor, his blood spurting everywhere with his sparking circuits, Hoth licked his axe blade and brought it up for one last swing to the man's head.

"Wait! D-don't! I swear, I'm just trying to make a living! Don't kill me, please!" he pleaded.

"First off, I'm an Aesir: I can take hollow-point shots and heal in a matter of minutes! Secondly, NEVER call Class Zero soldiers faggots, bitch!" he cackled as he brought the blade down in a mighty swing, splitting the dismembered man's head clean down the middle, killing the assailant instantly. Hoth simply brushed off any dirt he had collected on his trench coat and shirt and the bartender stared in shock at the mess, but also at the hole where the large stab wound had been as it healed up completely

"Who the hell are you?"

"Jutubyra," he took a deep breath to see if his lung had regenerated completely (which it had) and then left. However, he stopped and flipped a coin at the bar-keep.

"There, that's the 10 Zam I owe you for the drink," the young man mentioned as he stepped out of the bar into the star-lit town. It was a cloudless night on the planet Vi; the air was a dry and crisp with the faint traces of pine roaming about from the surrounding forests. All in all, it was a nice night on the planet.

But Jutubyra could care less.

As he walked along side the road, his ears detected the sound of an on-coming transport vehicle from a few hundred yards away. As it came within his highly tuned eye-sight, he noticed that it was mounted with old-fashioned gun-turrets. Which meant…

"Shit…He brought backup…" he grumbled as he took out his ion cannon blaster and charged it up. The ion blaster was a Mark IX, its electromagnetic energy magazine housing around twenty-eight 5-kilowatt shots of pure electromagnetic charge, and was a perfect size for wielding in close or medium-range combat. With a quick charge of the starter-handle, the Aesir aimed at the oncoming vehicle

As he did this, a young girl (slightly younger than him) walked across the street, too tired and too caught up in her own problems to see the large carrier van.

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Miyumi sighed to herself. "This is boring and pointless…I never said that I wanted to go on this stupid quest…" she complained. And she was right. If it were up to her, she'd rather stay on her home-world in her Chinese kingdom's palace; giving orders, being pampered by her servants; be respected by her people; and- a sudden flash of pale azure blinded her, the blast knocking the princess onto the dirt ground.

Jutubyra had leveled the vehicle in one shot without even looking at it. Sure, it had cost him about half of his magazine's charge, but it was worth it. As he blew out the smoke from his blaster, the super-soldier smirked to himself, "…And to all a good night." Looking at the wreckage of singed flesh and electronics, though, he saw an ebony-haired girl lying on the ground. Upon closer inspection she seemed to be wearing something a white Chinese she-warrior outfit and carried a wooden straight-edged sword. "This day just keeps getting better and better…" Jutubyra said to himself as he walked to the girl and helped her up onto her feet. But instead of a 'thank you', she retorted indignantly,

"You know, I was going to destroy it myself. You were just a split-second earlier."

"Not from where I stood, kid. Looks to me like you planned on being that vehicle's speed bump," the older teen blinked.

"Well, looks can be deceiving."

"Do tell," he cocked his eyebrows.

"Feh. I could have destroyed it. Here, see that lamp post over there?" the Chinese youth pointed to a post about 30 yards away, then took out her weapon and swung it in the air in a formation reminiscent of calligraphy. With a slice at the direction where the pole was at, a blade of red ki charged from the wooden weapon at the post and incinerated it with ease. Miyumi rested her weapon on her shoulder and smiled with pride. "Ha! Now do you see? I'm not just your average 'kid' anymore, am I?"

The renegade snatched her wooden tachi and examined it.

"Hm…" he twirled it around a bit.

"Hey! Give that back!" the princess whined as she kept jumping up at the older boy, who held her weapon teasingly over her head.

"So, you want it back?" he asked the girl.

"Yes!"

"Ok," Jutubyra said with a grin as he dropped the sword directly onto her head.

"Ow!" Miyumi squeaked as she dropped on her knees and began rubbing the bump it gaveher. "You brute…That was rude, and you shouldn't take things that aren't yours. Humph!"

The Aesir cocked an eyebrow once again at the spectacle of a girl and asked, "Hey kid, are you some sort of ethics-nut or something?"

This only made her more irate as she stormed up to the outlaw and blared, "You ignorant ruffian! How dare you insult me! And quit calling me a kid!"

"Um, compare your height to mine, squirt." Following the older boy's request, the younger teen looked up to notice that the top of her head was level with his shoulders.

"Gee…um…," she blushed as she looked down and fidgeted. Jutubyra took this as an opportunity to leave. After walking for several yards, he heard footsteps behind him, so he stopped and listened.

Nothing.

He continued walking, but heard the same sounds again. This time he turned around, only to see that the girl was following him.

"What are you doing?" Jutubyra growled.

"Well, in my culture," she boasted. "If a person saves your life, you are to repay the debt with your services or by saving their life."

" 'Repay the debt with your services', huh? Alright then," he grinned as he slid himself up close to Miyumi, nestling his right knee between her legs. "How about you and me find a nice little hotel and get-"

"There are limits, you know!" she snapped as she jumped back with a beet-red face.

"Damn. So much for that option…" The boy shrugged. "Fine, then…" he said as he walked into the middle of the road. After a few minutes of nothing happening, a truck finally came zooming up to him at a good speed. The driver hit his breaks 2 seconds too late, the impact launching the black-haired teen across the street and into a nearby building's wall, his body making an impression in it.

"Oh my gods! Are you alright?" the Chinese princess cried as she hurried to her savior. Remarkably, Jutubyra got out and brushed his arms off as if the incident had been a fleabite on him.

"Some help you are. As much as I'd hate to be," he began. "I'm ok," he concluded as he made his exit.

"Are you sure you're alright?" Miyumi asked concernedly.

"Yeah. I've got a pretty tough body. Shit like that happens to me a lot. You do realize now that if you follow me, this is what you'll see a lot of, right?"

"I see. Finding opportunities of repaying my debt to you should be easy, then."

"Whatever…" The super-soldier began walking on the sidewalk and headed to the space-port. A few seconds later, though, he heard a yell.

"Wait! Hey, I command you, wait for me!" the girl whined in vain.

"Ok, hold that thought for a moment, kid," Jutubyra faced the gaining princess. "If you're coming with me, there's some rules you'll have to abide by. One, don't expect me to help you out that much, if at all. Two, I take orders from nobody. And Three, if you don't keep up, you'll be left behind. Got it?"

Miyumi ran up to her indebted and scowled at him.

"Humph! You should feel honored that I'm coming with you. I am Princess Miyumi Shin-Tul of the White Dragon Clan. I am crowned princess of the Northern Quadrant of the- Hey! Are you even listening?!" she fumed as the boy continued his walking.

"I'm going before my ears give out." The chick's royalty... He mused to himself. But her skills are pretty good...She's young and naïve, but it wouldn't be the first time I've robbed the cradle… The super-soldier chuckled to himself. Her personality will probably get us killed, or it'll make me snap and kill her…Shit, I guess I should ask her… "So, you still want to follow a complete stranger?"

"You're not a complete stranger. I know that you're a jerk, a barbarian, and a pervert. So there!" Miyumi made a boorish and childish face at the boy, who simply sighed in response. "By the way, I never did catch your name."

"Jutubyra," he answered. "I'm a renegade."

To be continued…