Honxpen had red clay skin, and glazed milky eyes undoubtedly made it obvious that he was a native of Xegigar. Processed by the intergalactic flight academy and named amongst the sheer best of his sector, before he was expelled. He had flown hundreds, maybe even thousands of simulations with ease and no sign of hesitation.
With nowhere else to go, Honxpen inevitably turned to the crooked streets. He knew the streets of Xegigar better than most and was intimately acquainted with the underground of the planet in addition. Honxpen come to be one of the most requested on world getaway drivers Xegigar had. Bold, reckless, took life or death risks. He was part of the biggest heist within the planet’s history and got away without a scratch. He also got out without a cut due to a dirty betrayal. He may have been a bit green, But Honxpen knew how to get out of tough spots.
An individual like Honxpen was ideal for the work Neo had in mind. Neo went around, sniffing through the dark database for smuggling gigs and odd jobs which were often illegal, as long as it paid generously. After some digging, he landed a job with the galaxy's pharmaceutical juggernaut, Axion, to embezzle 397,000 units worth of Red Chrysalis, a psychedelic drug that gave the user unquantifiable amounts of pleasure but Caused horrid visions afterwards. Intergalactic gangster Sri Malok had the hallucinogen stored in his palace which was crammed with armed gang members. Things could get unpleasant, so Neo would need to rent a skillful getaway driver/pilot to deliver them away from trouble. He would next transport the red chrysalis off the planet not forgetting to temporarily neutralize the substance, to avoid blowing the ship to dust during hyper travel, and then venture to Zexob outpost to rendezvous with official Axion representatives where their exchange of the red chrysalis and units are to be made. Axion offered to grant a quarter of what the shipment was worth. It had been a 99,250 unit haul, a decent amount within the smuggling business.
Neo promptly met Honxpen at a local bar in downtown Bohimihor, the capital city of Xegigar.
“Quite the rep you got kid,” Neo had said to the wide-eyed Xegerian. “I heard you are a skilled driver, but what do you have to say for yourself?”
“I was the getaway driver for the Xegerian international precious metal heist.” Honxpen replied with a smirk, as if the statement spoke for itself. “Im good to say the least.”
“In this business, good isn’t enough.” Neo said taking a casual sip of his bubbly Noxian brew. “For this kind of job to travel well, I’m going to need someone professional." "A excellent getaway driver and a professional gun.” Neo searched at his drink and stared down the Xegerian youth. “Are you professional Honxpen, or are you lucky?”
Honxpen had encountered Neo’s look with a sideways glance, doing his best not to look intimidated. With the cash from the job, he could sit back and live easy. He would undertake anything. He had been the highest of his class for the simulation courses before he got expelled. He was average with a gun, but he had never eliminated anyone. But he needed to tell this rugged, rough edged human something. Neo was known to be amongst the best and most underrated smuggler within the galaxy.
“Yeah friend, I’m the most professional in the galaxy.”
“One thing to find out during this business kid, is there are no such things as friends. We are partners, that’s it.” Neo said as he got up from his drink.
“In this line of work, you’re either professional, or you’re dead.”
Four Xegerian day cycles later, Neo had snuck into Suri’s palace through the damp underground pipe system while Honxpen was on a speeder outside the doorway. He crawled through the pipe and snuck around the steel corridors. He set his photon pistol to stun to cut back noise but set to quick switch if he needed to travel lethally.
Neo knew the Red Chrysalis would be tightly guarded, and he couldn’t neturalize all of them out quietly. He reached for his belt and pulled a thermal detonator. “Noise-makers” he dubbed them.
He planted five of the noise-makers on the other side of the palace and made his way to find the vault in which the drug was stored. He found the vault room, full of armed guards. He tethered himself on the ceiling out of view. The bombs would be quiet enough not to alert the whole palace but loud enough to cause a distraction. Neo punched in some commands into his tech gauntlet and jammed the palace communication feeds to prevent the alarm from sounding. Another press of a button and the bombs detonated.
The palace shuddered as the noise-makers went off one by one. A faint boom reverberated from the opposing side of the palace, but it was enough to alert the gangsters and only five remained to stand watch.
“It’s almost a fair fight.” Neo thought, a grin spreading on his face as he dropped from the ceiling, notifying the guards of his presence.
Before any of the gangsters could raise their guns Neo had already drawn his two photon pistols and stunned two of the five guards surrounding him. He savagely charged into one of the guards utilizing him as a body shield before any of the remaining guards could execute a shot. The gangsters hesitated and Neo used that small window of opportunity to blast a stun shot at one of the guards. The hot blue burst of energy knocked the alien of his feet. Neo flung the gangster he had employed as a shield at the remaining guard. While they were both fazed, Neo pinned the one he had thrown to the ground and snatched the photon rifle out of his hands. He slammed the bunt of the rifle into the being’s face until it was mangled pulp. He rushed the last gangster, who was just getting back to his feet and pinned him to the side of the wall with the rifle pressed against his throat. With an uppercut of the rifle to the jugular, he was out cold.
The smuggler put the blood stained rifle into his pack and walked past the incapacitated bodies, stepping over the one he had brutally beat, and made his way to the steel door where the red Chrysalis was sure to be behind. From his belt he grabbed a dome shaped object and positioned the tech on the vaults steel door. The dome began to expand into an oval. The steel door turned warm and the oval began to take on a reddish hue. Before long there was a hole melted in the door big enough for the clever smuggler to walk through.
Acrid fumes of Red Chrysalis instantly invaded Neo’s nostrils as he walked in. He put on a breathing apparatus and took in his surroundings. The room took on a sinister hue of blood red.
Boxes stacked with the hallucinogenic drug were sitting on storage crafts, hovering slightly above the ground.
Neo figured he could slip the craft and its cargo out the palace easily as long as everyone stayed on the other side of the compound.
Neo turned on his com link, he wasn’t taking any chances.
“Honxpen how are we looking out there?”
Static was the sole answer to Neo’s inquiry.
“Kid, what’s going on up there?”
“I always knew you would come back Neo, but never under these circumstances.”
Neo knew that voice, he turned to encounter the face of Sri Mazok, crime lord of the Xei system and leader of the Maz Gang. He was grinning maliciously, flashing his needle sharp teeth at Neo.The small horns on his rough forehead looked as if they just been sharpened. He had on sleek, black body armor.
Neo focused his gun between Sri’s snakelike eyes. One of the eyes bore a scar across the pupil. Neo placed his other hand on the second pistol holster at the ready. Sri laughed.
“You took something that didn’t belong to you Sri.” Neo said coldly as he surveyed the area around him. “I’m here to get it back.”
“Because the boys I took it from want it back, so they hired you.” Sri said, licking his scaly lips with a forked tongue. “How fitting.”
Neo felt his blood rise and took some deep breaths to soothe himself. He needed to stay calm; Sri was trying to play with his food before he ate it. Neo knew the tactic well. He had seen Sri practise it many times.
“Ditch those Axion boys Neo.” Sri said with a slither. “You and me can team up like the good old days. I’m willing to forgive and forget. You and I can make a fortune on this stuff, sell it to the highest bidder on the black market.” Sri’s said, his grin growing wider.
“Sounds real grand Sri, real grand.” Neo said. He primed his pistol to kill.
Sri let out a chuckle that could slay small fluffy animals. “Tsk tsk tsk.” He growled in mock disappointment. He wagged his jagged finger. “Disappointing Neo, Disappointing.”
Behind Sri emerged a dozen Maz members, six on each side. Neo was surrounded by bloodthirsty enemies thirteen to one. Sri whipped out two anti-plasma revolvers from behind his back and focused their aim on Neo’s chest.
Neo discerned movement behind Sri’s shoulder. Honxpen snuck on one of the storage crafts in the left back corner of the vault directly behind Sri and his men. He performed a crashing motion with his hands.
Neo smirked with grim satisfaction.
“You know Sri; I didn’t take this job for the money, far from it.” Neo offered a subtle nod to Honxpen.
“I accepted the job so I can kill you, you son of a bitch.”
The hover engines roared, catching the gang off guard. The propulsion module lit up with a light blue aura. Honxpen barreled towards the men at maximum speed and whipped the craft around at the last moment, flinging five of the gang members into the air like bowling pins. They hit the wall with a satisfying thud. The remaining gangsters shot blue burst of energy at the storage craft
Neo whipped out the other pistol and opened fire. Sri’s body was pelted by a rain of fiery photon bolts. The bolts spat from Neo’s gun incinerated the air as they whizzed by, meeting their target every time. Sri’s armor had a mini holo-shield defending him. He dove for cover behind a storage craft and promptly returned fire.
A dozen more armed men rushed into the room. Neo took cover inside the cockpit of the gallant craft holding the red Chrysalis.The vault was a glittering sea of red and blue blaster fire.Honxpen rammed three disgruntled Maz members into a wall, liquidating them instantly with a brutal crunch. Honxpen’s breathing became shaky, his blood turned ice. It was the first time he killed.
Neo primed two noisemakers and flung one at the storage craft Sri was hiding behind and the other at the cracked wall Honxpen rammed.
“Kid, as soon as those bombs blow I’m going to need you to run as fast as you can to my craft, I’ll give you cover fire.”
Honxpen saw the explosive on the wall and pieced Neo’s plan together. “Got it.”
Neo let out a burst of pistol fire, pinning the enemies to their battered cover. Sri was the only one who wasn’t hiding. Photon bolts deflected of his body shield and Ricochet in all directions.One of the stinging blast removed the head off one of the unfortunate men in his close vicinity. “Let’s see how your body armor likes this.” Neo muttered grimly to himself as he typed the detonation command on his gauntlet.
The noise-maker on the wall blew first, just as Neo planned. The blast thundered throughout the palace and was audible from the streets outside the palace. The enemy was thrown off, except for Sri, who realized to late what was happening.
“Damn you Neo.” He slithered, for the last time.
Neo blew the second armed bomb. The hovercraft was swallowed by blue and purple energy. The gunmen using the vessel as cover where annihilated immediately. Sri and the hovercraft were nothing more then a purple hue of vaporized particles.
Neo reached in his pack for the automatic plasma rifle he had pummeled the armed guard with earlier and let loose a relentless barrage of blue blaster bolts, downing two men.
Honxpen dashed frantically towards the storage craft, firing shots from behind. One of his bolts landed, singing a hole through a Maz members chest. He jumped into the cockpit and ignited the engine.
“GET US OUT OF HERE KID NOW!”
The hovercraft roared with raw energy and Honxpen and Neo zoomed out of the exposed wall onto the street.
Honxpen looked around. They were in the heart of Bohimihors market district, the jewel of Xegigar.Aliens from all parts of the galaxy could be seen in bohimihor’s market, from the cannibal insect species of Andivants with their bulging eyes and hairy tendrils to the Zinbox, a race of extremely intelligent amphibious cyborgs. Honxpen knew these streets. Every being stopped their shopping and haggling and stared vacantly at the hovercraft that had just burst out of Sri Mazok’s palace. A grin spread on his face.
“Get us to the space port. The cargo craft can fit in my ship," Neo said, ripping the breathing apparatus from his scraggy face.
Honxpen blasted the craft in reverse, blowing orange dust in the air and did a 360 degree turn, crashing into a makeshift book shop in the process. The fybgr owner frantically waved all four hands in the air and dove for cover as the craft sped past. Shoppers dove out the way to evade certain death.
Maz members on speeder bikes emerged from the smoking crater from Neo’s bomb and began to pursue the storage craft. Neo counted five bikes total.
“Geez kid, are you sure you know what your doing?” Neo yelled, gripping his rifle.
“Just give us some cover fire.”Honxpen responded, confidence increasing. “I’ll take
care of the rest.”
Neo extended his head out the cockpit and propped his gun. The wind blew through his brown hair. They cut through a city corner and zipped by a group of florqif shoppers. They tucked their bodies into a ball formation and rolled out of the way of the bikers following close behind.
Neo aimed a shot and aimed fired into one of the bikes engines, melting the circuitry. The bike halted suddenly, flinging it’s rider into a yegirizan meat stand.
The other bikers swerved to avoid the stationary bike and resumed their chase.
The rider in front fired three blasts at the escaped craft. One of them hit a Skriltilian keg of Zat juice, which ignited into pale green flames, devouring the makeshift bar. The other two hit their intended target. One shot was deflected by the already weak craft shield. The final blast hit home frying the navigation system.
“We just lost Nav kid, hope you know these streets as well as you say!” Neo said, his voice barely audible.
Honxpen carefully analyzed his surroundings. “Just keep them off of us I know this planet like the back of my hand.”
Neo laughed grimly. “Whatever you say kid.”
They rounded another corner. Neo fired another bolt just as one bikers crossed the corner, flinging him off his bike. The bike crashed into what was left of the demolished stand. The biker behind drew his pistol and Neo had to fling himself back into the cockpit to avoid his head being shot off. The biker sped to the opposing side of the craft and aimed for Honxpen’s head.
“Idiot.” Neo muttered as he seized the controls from Honxpen’s hands and rammed the assailant into the wall, flattening him like a bloody pancake. Honxpen snatched back the controls.
“Don’t do that. You could have killed us damn it!”Honxpen blurted.
Neo rolled eyes. Half of him annoyed, the other half of him focused on not dying.
Neo could see the space port in the distance. All they needed was to shake the last two speeders on their tail. The craft bustled through the cybernetic section of the market. A Torik android who until then had in one piece, was unfortunate enough to be in the way of one of the bikers and was currently in millions of different pieces scattered all over the street.
The biker behind swerved quickly to avoid loose gears and other debris flying through the sultry air. Neo, undoubtedly an expert tactical mind, knew what to do. He threw the two remaining noise-makers he possessed into a market stand selling spare cybernetic parts. Just before the violent gangsters passed the shop, Neo blow the charges. An raging ocean of small gears and screws rained down on the riders and their speeders hover propulsion modules choked on metal nuts and nails, imploding the anti-matter reservoir. The air crackled with violent purple energy and, after a flash of negative light, the bikers were heaps of smoldering dust.
“YEAH, THATS WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT!” Honxpen screamed triumphantly.
Neo let himself smile. They made it to the spaceport, and the ship was in sight, waiting eagerly for them. “Not bad kid not bad at all.” Neo said, genuinely impressed.
They carefully slipped past the planet’s orbital control and performed the lengthy journey to Zexob outpost, where the pair met with the Axion representatives and walked away with 49,625 units each, after the split of course. For Neo, the significant reward was not the units. The galaxy would fondly recall his name after this and that was all he desired.