Shotgun

Tres set his shotgun on the bar and reached behind it to grab a bottle while the bartender had stepped into the back. The barback gave him a rude look but he grinned and caressed the shotgun so the guy would keep his mouth shut. It worked, as the bartender came back, Tres slipped out the back door with bottle and shotgun in tow. Nobody chased him immediately so he strolled toward his car and holstered the shotgun so it was a little bit more inconspicuous. He looked down at the bottle and was surprised and pleased to see it was the good stuff. He was going to be in some trouble with the owner later thanks to the camera but Tres could pay for it. Stealing was just a thrill and thrills were to be relished whenever possible.

Tres had given up his name a long time ago. He had been an orphan, fighting on the street and he had been offered the chance to fight for truth, justice and all of that other crap. He had given up his name in exchange for a number and the power to fight anything in the world. Of course, that is when he had found out that there were plenty of things in the world which people did not know about. For centuries there had been all sorts of nasty creatures lurking around that wanted to prey on human beings. Ms. Apple, the woman who had given Tres his abilities, had said that there were a couple different organizations fighting the threats. However, Tres believed his organization was probably the best.

Tres climbed into his car and found that the GPS unit attached to the dash was already working. There was no address on the screen but there were coordinates and, as soon as he turned the car on, the speakers started telling him what to do. All of this hoodoo had been really creepy when he started. He rarely had contact with other agents or his superiors beyond Ms. Apple. It was sort of like being haunted. Some vague, supernatural force was always telling him where to go and when. Of course, they could also be hacking into his GPS but, considering all of the other trappings, it was probably some supernatural effect. Tres really did not care either way but sometimes he pondered it out of curiosity. It was a game and Tres liked games.

Tres tucked the bottle into the door and peeled out of the parking lot, heeding the guidance from the GPS. He had tried to make the thing use a different voice but so far he was stuck with an annoyed British man. He had not realized that a GPS device could get angry but there it was, nearly growling directions at him. The car trailed thick, purple smoke that was a side effect of its cloaking runes. The rune magic allowed Tres to gun the engine so he could race toward his target at nearly a hundred miles per hour. He would have gone faster but the thing had started to shake at 95 so he kept it just below. Cops could not see the car and radar was useless against its smoky magic. People tended to kind of notice it out of the corner of their mind. They would get out of its way but they would not realize why they did it.

Tres eventually rolled up to a shack in the middle of nowhere. The GPS barked at him, telling him that this was the place and it was time to do his job or else. Tres never thought too much about or else. Considering what was at play, ‘or else’ was probably too frightening to consider. So he got out of the car, took a pull from the bottle and licked his lips before capping it and tossing it back into the car. He drew the shotgun from its holster and made his way toward the shack to get this over with. There was only ever one mission he was given and it was always ‘seek and destroy’. He happened to love those orders.

He kicked open the door of the shack, not knowing who or what to expect inside. There was a dreadful silence as he looked around and tried to find something to shoot at so he could back to that bottle. The floorboards creaked but Tres realized that it was not his weight on top of them that made them creak. They were creaking because something was pushing from underneath them. There was a surge of creaking and then cracking and then a massive arm tore through the floor and slammed into Tres’ chest, sending him flying back through the door. He rolled with the punch, doing a backward somersault and keeping a hold of the gun.

The shack started to fall apart as the thing crawled from the wreckage and roared at Tres. This thing might have stayed hidden for months, years or decades but Tres’ runes probably woke it up. It was all for the best. Better Tres than some unwitting tourist with a neat souvenir necklace or something. The thing was twelve feet tall and Tres was not about to let it get its bearings. He opened fire with the shotgun, aiming for its center mass and then the limbs. The first shot barely fazed it and neither did the second, the third shot caught its arm and sent it spinning but it quickly recovered. It was time to bring out the big guns.

Tres stroked the tattoos on his arm and felt the surge of power. The power grew in his arm and then his chest and then all over his body. His skin grew hard and gray as it became stony and armor-like. Cracks formed in that stone skin and underneath it energy could be seen like magma. The power surged into the shotgun and it grew to three times its size. Tres looked for the best spot to hit this thing and saw it turn and look with its one eye. Tres had played enough video games to know what that probably meant and took aim. He gently squeezed the trigger and the shotgun erupted. The fiery projectiles blasted into the thing’s head and out the other side. It collapsed and started to turn into to viscous black fluid. Tres headed back for the bottle.

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