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Inspired by the hit song from Styx.

RENEGADE

He stood silently, back to the wall, peering out the window into the night at all the arbite vehicles moving in to surround this rat-hole he had called home. DeYoung had been here before, but somehow knew this was the end. After more than six years on the run, they had finally caught up with him. Bringing his autopistols up in front of him one last time to kiss their techpriest-blessed handle-grips, he wondered who had turned him in. The bounty had been high enough that he wouldn't be surprised if it were his own mother. No matter. Any grox loving arbite that tried to step through that door would catch a round in the face, and one more in the chest for good measure.

Dozens of voices could be heard from shouting lawmen preparing to move in. DeYoung thought about just giving in and letting them take him, but he couldn’t go back. Not after what he had done. He could almost hear the creak of the rope that would tighten around his neck if they took him alive. He heard a pounding on the outer door now. The battering ram would make short work of the hasty barricade he had set up downstairs, but every minute they were delayed was another minute he could draw breath.

It was time. DeYoung spun around and broke out the plasti-glass in the window with a single kick from his combat boot. Before the pane had hit the ground a floor below, he pulled both triggers, taking down two arbites with expert shots to the facemask. He continued to spin to the other side of the window and then eased through the doorway into the next room.

Another window kicked out, another pair of shots and two more arbites went down. Sporadic fire was starting to sprinkle the side of the building as the other lawmen took notice of where the fire was coming from.

The door had given way downstairs, and the thunder of over a dozen pairs of boots on wood easily penetrated the thin walls. DeYoung moved from room to room in the darkness, drawing the time out and hoping to catch one or two of them unawares. A helmeted head sprang into view around a corner, and was almost immediately struck by a round, caving in the faceplate and dropping the arbite to the floor.

The noise attracted unwanted attention, and more arbites rushed down the hall towards DeYoung. If that’s the way they wanted to play, he would play. DeYoung kicked a table over onto its side blocking the lower half of the door, then crouched in the corner opposite the opening. Rats in a corner always fought harder.

A form vaulted over the makeshift barricade, and immediately hit the ground in a groan of pain as DeYoung opened fire. He pumped round after round into the doorframe and down the hall until his clips ran dry. Pausing just long enough to reload both autopistols proved to be a mistake. A bear of a man burst straight through the overturned table, shotgun in hand. The mask on the helm only came down to his nose, so DeYoung saw a grin split the brute’s face as he brought the shotgun around and aimed it straight at his head.

Both men fired at the same time. DeYoung’s head disappeared in a red mist as the shell exploded on impact. The arbite spun around as multiple rounds struck him in the neck, chest, and arm. The lifeblood of the arbite pooled on the floor in the doorway, causing the next man through to slip.

The arbite, an unfortunate rookie in his first week out of the scholum, hit the floor hard. Has he pulled himself slowly to his feet, he looked around for the first time in shock. Wiping his nose with the back of his hand, he looked down to see bright crimson. His eyes rolled up in the back of his head and he fell to the floor once more.
 
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