Ch. 5 –The Bar… and a Friend

I am SO sorry about the long wait (nearly 3 years, yikes!). My other story Sunset Prime is taking up most of my time. Not to mention college is LITERALLY gonna be the end of me. :P I know a lot of people want me to work on Sunset Prime, or my other stories, but you know what, it's been over three years damn it! This story needs love too! Plus, I've hit a MAJOR Writer's block for nearly all my stories, so finally getting this chapter finished felt good.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to frantically catch up with all my other stories. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?! DX

The trio of fighters finally returned to the Underground base. Making their way to the table and Torn, Roxy stayed behind Jak as Daxter leapt onto the table.

"The demolition duo has returned!" He bluffed. "One barbequed ammo dump, served up hot!"

Roxy leaned forwards and cleared her throat, "A-hem!"

Daxter turned to her before looking back at Torn, "Or, uh, demolition trio, I suppose."

Jak spoke up, "We saw something odd while torching that ammo. The Baron's guards were giving barrels filled with eco to a group of Metal Heads!"

Torn's head turned at this new information. "Really? The Shadow will be very interested to hear that." He looked at Roxy, noticing her pistol placed in her belt's holster. "How'd that pistol feel for your first time?"

Roxy smirked, "I got the hang of it." She shrugged, "I'm a fast learner."

Daxter interrupted them, "You know so far, your gigs have been easier than stealing grass from a sleeping yakow."

Roxy mentally made a note to figure out what a yakow was, but didn't have time to fully think it through as Torn chuckled, "You three want to start proving yourselves? One of our… suppliers needs his payment delivered—a bag of eco ore. Take the zoomer parked out back, and drive it to the Hip Hog Heaven Saloon in South Town." He pointed to a building on the table's map, "Ask for Krew — he'll be there. And don't let the Baron's patrols stop you."

Roxy rolled her eyes, "Obviously." She mumbled under her breath.

"By the way, when you get there, pump Krew for information." Torn added, "He's wired into the city and may know what the Baron is up to." Torn turned around to look at the wall of maps and pictures behind him.

"You can count on us!" Daxter said proudly.

But Torn simply crossed his arms, "Are you still here?"

"No, we're leaving." Roxy replied. She turned to the exit and left, hearing Jak and Daxter right behind her. Roxy headed up the stairs and out the hidden doorway. After waiting for Jak and Daxter to catch up, Roxy watched the door close behind them. She looked around for the zoomer Torn was talking about and found one with a box connected behind it.

"There it is." Roxy walked over to the zoomer with a bag on the back.

Jak walked up next to her with Daxter on his shoulder. The ottsel looked at Roxy expectedly. "Well? What are you waitin' for?" He asked.

Roxy looked at him confused, "What? You want me to drive?" She asked, "I don't know how to work these things! Much less how to avoid the Krimson guards while doing it!"

Daxter crossed his arms, "Well, this thing seats only one, so… looks like we'll take this mission. Bye-bye!" He smirked.

Jak huffed, "Cool it Dax. She can sit behind me." He walked to the zoomer and climbed on.

Roxy sent Daxter a smirk, the ottsel pouting in response. Roxy sat behind Jak onto the bike but didn't see anything for her to hold onto. Hesitantly, Roxy put her arms around Jak's torso as he started the engine. The zoomer lifted off and the three heroes were off, weaving through the streets and avoiding any and all Krimzon Guards. At least, they tried their best to.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/

As soon as Roxy and the others stepped into the saloon, the smell of alcohol hit her like a wall of bricks. She flinched and gagged at the scent before powering through and keeping up with Jack. The place wasn't the worst. It had booths, a bar, and some neon light decorations. However the walls were also decorated with the heads of different creatures. In the center of the room, there was a pole surrounded by what looked like a wrestling ring. Roxy didn't even want to think about what that was for. Looking ahead, she saw a large, muscular man with dark skin and a lot of armor. His eyes were green and strict, and he had noticed them come in.

Daxter spoke up from Jak's shoulder. "Let me handle this, Jak. Watch my finesse and style."

"You're gonna get us killed, aren't you?" Roxy asked rhetorically.

Jak watched Daxter hop to the ground and tried to warn him, "Don't forget to ask about-"

"Everything's cool. Nobody panic." Daxter ignored him and walked between the man's legs. "Hey, big guy." He said, not acknowledging how rude he was being.

"Yep, he's gonna get us killed." Roxy noted.

Suddenly a large man ('Large' being an understatement) floated over on some sort of hovercraft. Roxy had to hold a gag back at his massive, flabby form. He looked more like a monster than a man, and his tiny legs dangling from below him wasn't making things any better.

Daxter pointed to him, "You Krew? Well we shook the heat, and your shipment's in primo condition." He smirked.

The man, Krew, spoke in a raspy voice, "That's good eh, because a cargo of rare eco ore is worth more than ten of your lives! Mmm, and of course, I'd be forced to collect… slowly..." Roxy felt a shiver run up her spine at his disgusting voice. Krew chuckled, "The Underground will take anyone with a pulse these days." He hovered around Jak, as though inspecting him. But he ended behind Roxy instead. He looked at her in a way that made Roxy feel violated just by him looking at her. "Oh, and who's this young temptress, hm?"

"I'm not a temptress!" Roxy snapped. She moved to be next to Jak instead of Krew, doing her best to keep her angry facade up despite her major discomfort.

Daxter climbed onto Jak's shoulder again, meeting Krew's eye height. "And what do we have here?" He asked, "The Shadow's mascot of the month?" He started scratching and petting Daxter's fur, "Ooh, soft. Sig, this fur would go well with my silk suits, eh?"

Roxy turned away for a second, "Oh god…" She mumbled. She held a fist to her mouth, trying to hold down the vile that started creeping up.

Daxter looked just as uncomfortable as Roxy, "Listen, uh, tons of fun, anyone can see that you, uh, and I have the real juice in this burg." Roxy noted the ottsel trying to seem like he was on par with Krew and was obviously failing. "We're both players, right? We're both looking for a piece of the action, right? I think we can do business... right?" Daxter shrunk behind Jack's shoulder plate.

Jak finally spoke up, "We did you a favor, now it's your turn. Why is the Baron giving eco to Metal Heads?" he asked, getting straight to the point.

"Questions like that could get a person killed, eh!" Krew snapped, hovering close to Jak's face. "Sig, pay 'el Capitan' here, and his friends, a bonus." The man in armor approached the trio threateningly. Jak held an arm in front of Roxy, pushing her behind him, before bringing his fists up to fight. But the man simply held out a large gun for Jak to take. "If you want to see what that baby can do, try the gun course outside." Krew spoke, "Show me some skill with that hardware, and I'll hire you for a job or two, eh?"

Jak nodded. But Roxy looked at him and whispered, "Do not leave me with this guy!" She hissed, both demanding and begging him at the same time.

Jak just shrugged, "Sorry, but we gotta show him we mean business." He looked around at an empty booth, "Just sit over there, and I'll be back soon."

Roxy looked down in defeat before groaning, "Grrrr, fine! But if he tries anything, remember, I have a gun too!" She snapped. She quickly made her way to the empty booth as Jak headed outside. Roxy watched the boy and his friend leave the saloon, then suddenly felt very insecure and vulnerable.

Thankfully, for the most part, Krew simply talked to his supposed "hired gun" far from Roxy's table. Minutes passed, making Roxy more and more anxious about getting the hell out of that establishment. She muttered under her breath, "What is taking them so long?"

Roxy was lost in thought when soft footsteps approached her booth. "Can I get you anything miss?" Roxy looked up to see, what she assumed, was a waitress or server. She hadn't even looked up from her notepad when she spoke again, "A drink or anything?" The girl asked.

Roxy shook her head, "No, thank you, I'm-" Roxy paused. She looked the girl up and down, some sort of memory beginning to surface. The young female looked about her age with long ears like Roxy's own. Her skin was pale, and she had straight red, medium length hair with a strand of blue on the side. She stood wearing a black, sleeveless cloak that wore like a shirt, then draped over her hips and went down to her knees. She had bright pink leggings and black boots. She had dark blue/green eyes surrounded by dark/hot pink makeup. But what really struck her was the hopeful look in her eyes. A look that Roxy would never have forgotten.

"Mirta?!" Roxy gasped.

The girl finally looked up from her notepad and the two locked eyes. Immediately, Mirta gasped in surprise. "Roxy!" She smiled, tears forming in her eyes as she leapt towards Roxy, hugging her tightly. "I knew it!" she cried, "I knew I'd find you!" The two friends embraced each other for a second or two before stepping back. Mirta wiped the few tears on her cheeks, "Where have you been?! I was so worried."

Roxy sighed, "Sorry Mirta, I got a little..." She leaned in and whispered, "Held up at the Baron's prison."

"Prison?!" Mirta gasped quietly.

"Don't worry! A friend helped me get out." Roxy reassured her friend. She leaned in with a hand near her cheek, "We're actually on a mission against the Baron." She whispered.

"Really!?" Mirta beamed. She looked around, seeing Krew wasn't around, then joined Roxy in the booth. "Tell me everything!"

Roxy giggled as she sat down, "Actually, I want to hear your story first. How did you survive after I was captured?" She asked sincerely.

Mirta thought for a second, "Well, after you were taken down by those guards, I ran as fast as I could away from them. I didn't know where I was going, but I felt so bad about leaving you behind." She looked down sorrowfully. Roxy put her arm around the girl's shoulders and gave her a comforting smile. Mirta smiled in return, "Anyway, I tried to ask people for help, but no one would listen to me. I was practically living on the streets for the next few days, and though I didn't like it, I had to use some of my witch magic to survive. I don' don't know how long it was, but after a few days, a group of Krimzon guards jumped me and tried to take me in. That's when I was found by a rebellion called the Underground. Two guys, Torn and Sig, helped me out, and took down the Krimzon Guards."

"I know Torn." Roxy smiled. She took out her pistol, "He's the one who gave me this beauty."

Mirta giggled slightly, "Figures. He's always had extra guns around the base. Anyway, they said they'd let me stay with them, as long as I helped in their fight against the baron. I figured it was better than living on the streets. So, I've been doing missions for them ever since. Nothing major, just little things like undercover or recon missions."

Roxy nodded, "Nice. But then, why are you here?" She turned to Krew and grimaced, "You're not working for him are you?"

Mirta sighed, "Unfortunately, I am. But it's only as a waitress. Torn wanted me and another member to keep an eye on him, and get intel on the Baron and Krew. Plus, not many people come in here, so it's hardly ever busy. After staying here for so long, my body kind of... adapted to its environment." She traced the tips of her newly long ears. "So, I fit right in."

"That explains the new look." Roxy chuckled.

Mirta giggled in return, pointing to Roxy's outfit. "You're one to talk!" The two friends laughed.

"Hey Mirta!" The two females turned to see the large man from earlier come in with a large gun, "You outta be careful over here. Krew may catch you slacking off."

The redhead rolled her eyes sarcastically, "Oh please, as if we have any real customers right now." She gasped, "Oh, while you're here, I want you to meet my friend, Roxy." She gestured to the girl across from her. "Roxy, this is Sig."

The man smiled and held his hand out for her to shake, "Nice to officially meet you, miss. Sorry about Krew's little comment earlier, and for scaring your friend."

Roxy smiled nervously as she shook his hand, "No problem. At least he left me alone over here."

Sig nodded, "Don't worry. He's just been watching your friend in the training area to see what they're made of." He turned back to Mirta, "Speaking of which, Krew wants me and the new guys to bag up some new Metal Head trophies for the saloon, and we were about to head out. Wanna help take 'em down?"

"You know it! Go on ahead and we'll be right behind you." Mirta smirked, "I wanna show Roxy my ride."

The man chuckled, "Alright then." The man turned around and walked away. "I'll see you two there." He saluted.

Mirta smiled as she watched him go. "That's the other guy who saved me alongside Torn." She told Roxy as she got out of the booth, "He's really tough, but sweet too, and definitely not as up-tight as Torn."

Roxy looked between her friend and the large man as she followed her friend. Soon she began to connect the dots, and smirked. "Oooh~ Are you into him?"

Mirta looked at her in shock, "What? Ew!" She gagged, "No way! We're just friends. If anything, he's like an older brother to me."

Roxy smirked, "Yeah. You say that now."

Mirta huffed, "Whatever, let's just head out. Something tells me your friends are the 'New guys' he was talking about." The witch walked towards the exit with Roxy behind her.

Roxy rolled her eyes, "Yeah, probably."

Mirta led them outside to an alley next to the Saloon. In there was a dark red and black zoomer with navy-blue streaks and light damage. Roxy whistled, "Wow. Where'd you find this?"

Mirta smirked, "I stole it." As Roxy looked at her in shock, Mirta climbed on and started the zoomer. "Well, what are you waiting for?" Mirta asked, "Hop on!"

Roxy hesitantly walked over and sat behind Mirta. Mirta revved the engine before taking off, swerving into traffic at a high speed. Roxy held onto Mirta as tight as she could, "Since when did you know how to drive?!" She shouted over the rush of the wind.

"Sig taught me how!" Mirta shouted back before accelerating to the city wall.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Jak walked up to Sig who had been waiting for them to go Metal Head hunting. The larger man looked to them, "Hello cherries. Ready to hunt a few Metal Heads?" Sig looked around, "We've still got at least one or two more people to wait for, so keep an eye out."

Jak asked, "Who else is joining us?"

"Hey Jak! Wait up!" The blonde turned around to see Roxy running towards him with another girl right behind her. The two reached the men and stopped to catch their breath.

"Glad we could make it." The red-headed girl smirked.

Sig smiled, "Alright, we've got ourselves a good team for Metal Head hunting! Follow me, stick close and watch my six." He grabbed his Peacemaker, "It's gonna be fun!"

As the small group started moving, Roxy tapped Jak's shoulder. "Jak, this is my friend Mirta." She gestured to the stranger, "Mirta, this is Jak. The one I was telling you about."

The red-haired girl smiled, "So, you're the new wastelander, huh?"

Jak shrugged, "Apparently."

Suddenly Mirta gasped, seeing a smaller Metal Head about to jump Sig from behind. She rushed to his side, "Sig, behind you!" She yelled, grabbing a hand-held SMG from her cloak. The Metal Head turned to her with a screech but didn't get a hit in as Mirta fired away, making the beast stagger back. Mirta then stepped aside for Sig to shoot it with the Peacemaker.

Roxy and Jak watched in surprise at their coordination, before joining the two, fighting side-by-side and taking down any enemies that dared to face them.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/

(Time change because I don't know what to write for the mission :P)

They had made their way around the small island in record time. Sig was charging his gun for the final Metal Head as Jak, Roxy and Mirta covered him. Soon enough, the Peacemaker was charged, and he fired away, killing the Metal Head and causing it to fall into the water.

"Boom! Home team five, Metal Heads nothing!" Sig called out in victory. He turned to the others, "That was the last one. Tell Krew we got 'em all cooked and canned. I'm gonna clean Peace Maker and pick up the trophies." He was about to leave, before he gave one last comment. "You did good rookies."

Mirta smiled, "I'll help you get the Metal Head skulls." She started walking behind him, until she paused, "Oh, before I do, I just remembered something." She turned back to Roxy, "Jak, can I talk to Roxy for a quick second?" She asked.

Jak looked between the two girls and rolled his eyes, "Alright, just don't take too long. Krew's probably got another job for us already." He huffed, then started walking back to the city wall.

Once he was a good distance away, Mirta reached into her jacket's inner pocket and brought something Roxy nearly forgot about. The White Circle. "Here. I've been keeping it safe for you this whole time." Mirta spoke as Roxy instinctively put her hand out.

Mirta carefully placed the White Circle into Roxy's palm. Roxy closed her fingers around the object and held it tightly. She could feel her magic reaching out to her from within. She looked up at her friend, "Thanks Mirta. I knew I could count on you." She smiled.

Mirta smiled but then switched to a sarcastic smirk, "But next time, give me a little warning before you give me all your magic, will ya?" She remarked. "You have no idea how panicked I was when I found out!"

Roxy nervously laughed and rubbed the back of her neck, "Yeah, sorry. But I had this feeling no one in this world should know we were fairies." She spoke quietly, not wanting Jak or Sig to hear.

"Roxy! Let's go!" Jak shouted from his spot near the wall where he was waiting for her.

Roxy cupped her mouth and yelled back, "I'm coming! Jeez! Learn some patience!" She turned back to Mirta and continued, "And it turns out, I was right."

Mirta crossed her arms, "You don't have to tell me twice." She noted, "I haven't told anyone but the Shadow that I'm a fairy. He's the only one who understands."

"Who is the Shadow anyway?" Roxy asked.

Mirta winced, "I kinda can't tell you. But I'll put in a good word for you with him, and maybe he'll want to talk to you soon."

Roxy smiled, "Thanks Mirta."

"Now get going!" The red head teased, "Or Jak's will have your head for dragging your feet!"

Roxy laughed, "Alright, alright, I'm going!" With that, she put the White Circle in her jeans' pocket and ran to catch up with Jak and Daxter. Mirta smiled as she turned back to Sig and followed him to collect their trophies.

Roxy caught up to Jak and the two walked back into the city walls, ready for their next mission. But something still felt off for Roxy. She could feel her magic coming from the white circle, still as powerful as ever, but something seemed… not quite right. Like the magic wasn't in tuned with her anymore. Was it because she had been separated from it for so long? Or was it because of something else?