Genetically Modified Stand-off

“Get off him. Get away!” Eve screamed in anger, she lashed out at Tara. Tara dodged aside this time and Eve slammed her fist into the glass fronted fruit machine. Jaxx’s eye narrowed as the smell of blood filled the air.
“Come on, shark boy. I know he’s in there. Let that beast out. I wanna play.” She grinned, goading Jaxx on.
“Don’t you think you should sort this out? said Artemis apprehensively as he eyed the boiling tensions just a few dozen feet away.
“Me?” grumbled as he gazed out a casino balcony, whisky tumbler in one hand and thick cigar in the other.
“Who else? And I thought you’d quit those things,” commented a slightly disappointed Artie.
“Meh,” shrugged Plisken as he blew a cloud of noxious smoke from his lips, “Going to die sometime.”
There was a smash from behind them. Artemis turned and locked eyes with Plisken.
“It’s Jay’s job. He’s El Capitán of this motley crew of space bums and rejects.”
“Yes, I’m sure it is,” agreed Artie, “However…”
“WHOOOOHOOOO!” came a joyous cry from the roulette table followed by a chanting of “I am so great! I am so great!”
“FINE!” sighed Plisken loudly, flicking the remaining butt of the cigar onto the sandy beach bellow. “I hate holidays…” he muttered under his own breath.
A swift hand struck across Eve’s face, leaving a harsh red mark on her cheek.
“You bitch!” she screamed and she raised her fist to try another attack at the hardlight hologram. But before she could do any more injury to herself, and provoke anymore ridicule from Tara, Plisken’s palm caught her fist and held it fast.
“Don’t,” he said simply.
“Oh, go to hell, old man!” Eve cried and she used her free arm to land another punch on Tara’s face. Again she reeled from the pain that sticking solid light could induce on the thrower of the punch, which is quiet surprising if you aren’t familiar with the properties of holograms.
“Plisken, dude, back off. This fight is between me and her!” said Jaxx in his familiar drawl, but his sense seemed to be sharpening, adrenaline pumping through his veins.
“Is the old man getting in your way, fish breath?” teased Tara.
“Oh, will you stop that,” said Plisken, still holding Eve’s fist strong.
Eve attempted some sort of kick to Plisken’s leg but it did little to faze him. Plisken’s strong hand squeezed Eve’s fist harder, causing her to buckle and strain under the pain.
“Hey!” called Jaxx at the sight of his beloved.
“Do you even understand what is going on?” asked Plisken, his annoyance quickly rising due to a mixture of childish fighting and Jay’s slightly slurred celebrations not too far away. The childish fighting wouldn’t be so much an issue if it weren’t for the fact that they were grown ups. And the last few remaining humans in the universe. And if one of them wasn’t a genetically created killing animal. That was probably the biggest factor.
“Of course I understand!” Jaxx said defensively, but he didn’t seem sure. “Uhm, all the girls think she’s a whore all the boys want to screw her!” he recited.
“Well,” scoffed Plisken, “I can tell you that isn’t true.”
“What does that mean!” cried both Jaxx and Eve at the same time.
“It means you look like the leftovers at sunrise in the Red District,” Tara laughed. There was silence from the couple. “You look ugly,” she explained.
Eve screeched and finally managed to twist free of Plisken’s vice-like grip. She scopped up one of the shards of shattered glass from the slot machine and slashed at Tara. It, obviously, did very little. But to Plisken on the other hand, the sharp edge of her wild swing slice open his cheek, and blood spilled to the floor. The cut managed to arc its way from the base of his jaw, across his cheek, an very nearly taking out his other remaining eye.
Whether it was trigged by a combination of the blood, tension, and pressure or it was just his time of the month, Jaxx erupted into the feral beast that had always been lurking underneath. Jaxx lunged at Plisken, following the smell of the blood but he was stopped by the barrel of the old man’s revolver, the cold metal pressed very hard against his head.
“Don’t,” Plisken advised.
“You wouldn’t actually shoot him,” spat Eve as she watched on, her words full of strength but she was frozen to the ground in fear. “You’ve got too many morals and rules.”
“You see, that’s the trick,” Plisken said, his eye carefully watching Jaxx as he backed away slightly from the barrel of the battered old LeMatt Revolver that was pointed directly at him. “I don’t have morals, I just did what I thought was right. And my rules? Well, they’re more like guidelines.”
Jaxx made a small move, shuffling his feet.
Plisken pulled the hammer back on the pistol.
“I wouldn’t.”

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