The lamp swung from side to side. Light was thrown around the dimly lit room. It must have been knocked in the commotion. Billy Elliard took a few steps back. He breathed heavily. Blood was flung from his wrist.

Nathaniel Flint was gasping as he leaned back in the wooden chair. His nose bled only slightly, but he had bitten his lip with the last punch. He cracked open his eyes to view the thugs that surrounded him.

"So… the code," spat Elliard.

Flint's eyes passed to a large chest sitting not too far away. The Platinum alloy of the chest made it priceless on its own, but what lied within put its casing to shame. Two tumbler knobs were positioned on the front of the chest. The correct two-digit combination the twin tumblers created would release the compressed-air seals.

Flint's eyes moved to the two other thugs. One bald, large man with a quirky smile. The other was a lean, long-haired, ex-ranger with a large brimmed hat. The ex-ranger held Flint's own fedora in his hand, fiddling with it playfully.

"I already told you, I only know one side," said Flint, "What's inside, they do not want getting out."

"Damnit, Flint," Elliard smilled again, "You are a tough nut… they teach you this in the stripes?"

Flint glared at the ex-ranger, "You… that is my hat."

The ranger smiled, showing a brass tooth.

"Now, I do admit, I am getting tired," said Elliard, taking out a switchblade knife, "Now, I need that stone."

Elliard ran his bloodied fingers through his thinning hair. Someone at the door made a noise, and Elliard turned half-heartedly to look. Flint rolled his eyes, knowing that odds are it was Elliard's own posy just getting antsy.

Elliard returned to his spot real close to Flint's face, brandishing the knife as a warning that past head-butts were to be met with a stab. He smiled, his eyes digging into Flint's.

"Thirty-Three," said Flint, very calmly.

Elliard froze, his eyes widening. His pupils brushed over Flint's face. His ears even appeared to twitch.

"Forty-Nine, Twenty-Three," said Flint.

Elliard's eyes raised to that of his bald companion, then to the ranger before smiling.

"There we go," he yelled, leaping away from Flint and to the chest, quickly turning the tumblers.

The ex-ranger wasted no time turning and watching the tumblers spin, seeing as we was the closest to the chest. The bald thug wandered close, his gaze shifting from Flint.

Flint's eyes slowly closed. He had already loosened his rope restraints and had been biding his time for a plan. Now, he was presented with one. His left hand twisted against the rope, and broke free with a soft snap.

"Seventy-Two," he said, raising from the chair and discarding the now useless rope to the side on the floor.

In the same motion, he raised the wooden chair he had been in above his head and rushed forward. He had enough time to say out another number before the bald one turned and saw him.

The look of horror didn't have time to register on his face. Flint brought the chair down hard on his bald head. Wood splintered and shattered. Flint was left grasping the back end of the chair as the seat and legs rained down on the floor and the bald one fell to the hard ground.

Flint grasped the back end as a throwing knife and chucked it towards the ex-ranger.

"My hat!" yelled Flint as the back end slammed into his cheek as he turned, and the shock caused him to leap backward, over the small table, and fall behind it.

Elliard spun around, the knife poised to be used. His eyes glared and his teeth barred like an animal as he searched the gloom for Flint. Flint ran at Elliard, and threw up his foot in a punt as Elliard advanced on him as well. The kick landed on Elliard's already tired hand, which could not grip the knife. The knife soard up and away into the gloom.

Elliard threw his full force into Flint. Flint, standing on one leg, fell to the ground with Elliard on top of him. Elliard rose and threw a punch, and reeled back for another punch. Flint threw a punch of his own, catching him underneath the jaw. The unexpected hit allowed Flint to gain the leverage he needed to push off his attacker and roll slightly farther away.

When Flint stood, Elliard was already rushing him, his hands finding their way around Flint's throat. Flint used this to throw two quick gut-punches, causing Elliard to kneel over. Flint grabbed his head, and brought his knee up into the man's face.

Elliard stood straight, now, backing away from Flint. His nose had burst open, and blood cascaded down over his mouth. Flint took a few quick steps forward, putting all his weight behind a closed, fisted punch on Elliard's left cheek.

Elliard's knees buckled, and he fell back. His eyes closed as he hit the ground, knocked out.

Flint shook his hand, trying to ignore the seering pain he felt from that punch. The bald thug was still moaning on the floor a little ways away. The ex-ranger stood from behind the table, a pistol swinging the room.

Flint took a look around him, and dived behind some old crates as the ranger keyed in and begun unloading his revolver into the crate. Flint sat up, back against the crate. His bloodied hand ran across something metal on the floor, and his eyes darted to it.

It was Elliard's pocket, knife.

Five…six… click. The ranger was out of bullets. The room smelled more like gunsmoke and looked slightly foggy. Flint rose from behind the crate and charged towards him. He secretly prayed the ranger didn't have a second pistol, as most usually carried more fire arms then pirates.

The Ex-Ranger had been caught off-guard. He had come around the table and started walking to the crate, so he was caught in the opening trying to jam bullets into the chambers. At the sight of Flint, he cast his revolver aside and reached for a secondary pistol strapped to his waist in a cross-holster.

Flint threw the knife, aiming for the Ranger's hand. It missed its marked, but managed to dig into his gut, causing his to fumble his pistol as it left his holster.

Flint tackled him, the pistol flying off. Flint threw a punch or two before getting up, and rushing to his supplies on the table where Elliard had rummaged through them. Behind him, the ex-ranger stood up and cursed, pulling the knife from his gut and tossing it half-heartedly to the side.

Flint reached his supplies and rummaged through it for his gunbelt. Stealing a glance behind him, he saw the Ranger looked around and spotted his little pistol on the ground not far away. The ranger lunged for it, just as Flint blind-grabbed into his bag and felt cold steel.

Flint pulled his LeMat and cocked it in one fluid motion, aiming it as the ranger reached his pistol. Flint pulled the trigger. POW. A loud gunshot rang, and Flint's bullet sunk into the ranger's back before he could even fully grasp his pistol. POW.

At the second shot, the ranger went limp, and the breath left his body. Flint let out the breath he had been keeping in, and breathed. The rousing of the bald thug on the floor grabbed Flint's attention. He had awoken to the sound of gunshots, and lazily attempted to peer across the room.

Flint turned his pistol on him. One bullet right into his skull silenced him. Flint's eyes were starting to tear up slightly at the smoke. He heard commotion outside, but since no-one attempted to open the door he let them be for now. Stepping over to the table, he gave the tumblers a free spin and walked behind the table, placing his hat atop his head.

Flint knelt over the ex-ranger, searching his pockets, grabbing bullets and cash he could find.

"My… hat," he mumbled to him, "Bastard."

He did the same to the bald one, then he approached Ellaird. Elliard was in bad shape. He lay bleeding on the floor. Flint rand his finger through his pants and pockets, then through his waist coat. A large roll of bills were in one of the pockets. Flint smiled, fingering through it.

"This, my boy," said Flint, "Is payback. For the delay… and for severely messing up my clothes."

Elliard made a gurgling sound of a sigh, but no audible words.

"When the ol' girl's fixed, rest assured I'll come back this way and level your little outfit," said Flint, using this time to grab his thigh-holster and gunbelt and strap it on, "Until that day, I find myself in a strange predicament… your men still outside and all."

Flint checked the platinum chest, and smiled when he saw it was untouched. Good, he thought, if all went well they wouldn't even know he had been kept up.

"I need this payment, old friend," said Flint, returning to Elliard, "I can smell it… the exhaust… the gunpowder… they diesel… I can smell my… freedom… my chance. It's so close, mate."

Elliard sputtered, "You will die a nothing, Lieutenant."

"Nobody will remember you, Billy," said Flint, smiling, "They don't remember us. No matter what. Be we thug."

Flint slapped Elliard's chest.

"Be we treasure hunter," Flint touched his own chest, and then motioned the two of them connecting, "Or even old war heroes."

"You… are no hero."

Flint jumped as a crash was heard from the door. Elliard's men had begun trying to get in. Flint looked over his shoulder, rolling his eyes. The door wasn't even locked and they were trying to break it down. Flint returned to Elliard, taking out his revolver and pressing it to his chest.

"Neither are you," said Flint, smiling, "Don't you read? They recognized you after all, Billy. Your medals were revoked. Uncle Sam says you owe them for those banks… and that orphanage. Strange how that works."

Elliard's eyes flashed anger, before he began coughing, and one eye closed for the last time. The other lingered on Flint. Flint smiled, cocking back the hammer.

"I'm still a wild card, boyo," said Flint, "and all I want… is my ship."

Flint fired his gun. The last of Elliard's breathes escaped him, and his eyes were squeezed shut. Flint rose and walked to the table, quickly throwing on his pack and dealing with the rest of his gear.

Elliard's men continued to slam into the door. The door creaked and cracked with every hit. Flint opened his LeMat, throwing away the useless shells and fully loading new shells into the new design. He put his hand on the chest, and quickly wondered what he'd do with the object.

Crash, the door came off the hinges and one man fell to the ground ontop of it. Two other quickly ran through the door, pistols raised. Flint cocked his pistol and aimed, wasting enough time to insure he'd shoot the bigger's head and pulling the trigger.