-Raccoons only live once-
-Raccoons only live once- An epic invasion breaks out across the far reaches of the galaxy, tearing a planet-sized hole across time and space. Caught in the crossfire and with no contact from his fellow Guardians crew, Rocket Raccoon must stand and face this almighty thread alone. Shot down, outnumbered and backed into a corner, Rocket arms himself to the teeth with every weapon known to Raccoon. Now it's personal! -Raccoons only live once-
-KrrKKZzzTT- They're coming-KrrKKZzzTT-
-KrrKKZzzTT- he's got...lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eye. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, and then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin' and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin' they all come in and rip you to pieces. -KrrKKZzzTT-
-The message repeats-
"Now what the frakk was that about?" Rocket muttered in confusion playing the message he'd just picked up through Milano's Comm-system.
"I am Groot?"
"I know it was distress signal you dumb tree! What I meant was what was it about. Get Peter in here." He barks at Groot.
"I am Groot?"
"I know his asleep, so wake him up. I don't care if its mean. Just do it." Groot grunts his unhappy acquiescence and leaves the cockpit.
"What's so important now Rocket? I'd have asked Groot but you know-" Star-lord mumbles massaging sleepiness away from his face.
"Yeah, yeah, ya don't speak Groot. I know. So listen to this." Rocket replies playing the message to Peter who listens it with slight confusion.
"Okay, so what language is that anyway and where is it coming from? "
"Keystone, we're nearing the edges of the Galacian wall now but the language -its what's spoken at Procyon-6 and I triangulated the message to be from somewhere around that neck of the space. Remember that planet I stranded on some time ago at the keystone wilds?"
"Yeah, barely. As I recall you haven't really spoken about it since." Peter muses while fumbling with the coffee machine. He thought he might as well make some since he was now awake and his shift would start in a few hours anyway.
"It wasn't an all together pleasant experience to be honest. Anyway we're almost at the drop zone."
Rocket notes surprisingly subdued.
"So, what about that message Rock?"
"Probably nothing. I'll check it out once I get beyond the wall. Don't wait for me here. I shouldn't be gone more than a week but there's no point for you to stick around fiddling your thumbs waiting."
"You really sure about this Rocket, I mean at least you should take Groot with you in case something happens. At least you could leave us the pass codes for that forcefield so we can come after you if things get bad, you know."
"They're individually keyed Pete, I can't just 'give' them to you and what's Groot going to do? He doesn't know how to man or repair a ship any more than Drax does and my guns can take care of any rude aliens I come across. No offence Groot."
"I am Groot" The tree-man shrugs.
"You haven't even told us what it is that you want from there by having us ferrying you out here every few years... I mean I get that there's something you're not telling us and you probably have your reasons but you really aren't making this easy on us, you know." Star-lord sighs following Rocket doing his preparations before performing the EVA-maneuver to man his much smaller barely bigger than a shuttle sized spacecraft currently tethered under Milano.
"Look Pete, it really is a personal issue and I need to do it alone, okay?" Rocket affirms placing the helmet on to test the seals before strapping on his other accessories and entering the air lock.
"Sigh, I guess I can't make you change your mind. We'll good luck." Peter sighs clapping Rocket's armored shoulder as good luck charm.
"Luck has nothing to do with it and Tell Gamora & Drax I'm sorry I left without telling them but you know how I suck with goodbyes." Rocket grunts closing the air lock behind him almost hastily.
"I am Gro-oot!" Groot sighs forlornly watching Rocket's small golden ship stop at the shimmering force field before zipping on to the other side through a ship-sized hole appearing on the wall and then he was gone.
"yeah, I know buddy. Don't worry he'll be back. He always has." Peter reassures his best and only tree friend.
"Is he gone?" Gamora asks looking out the cockpit canopy stepping beside Peter & Groot.
"You should have told us of our furry friend's imminent departure." Drax rumbles displeased.
-Frakk, I just hate having to navigate through a storm. It's tricky enough in a good weather to avoid the flight radars and more importantly to avoid being seen by locals. So you fly in near blind, no landing lights, in a shitty weather storm to hide the engine roar and hope for the best in finding a spot desolate enough that nobody would spot your craft come morning. Rocket cursed in his mind doing his best to fly-by-instruments. -There, that seemed like a decent site to land. Kzakk! Something jolts the ship making the other engine sputter and Rocket is forced to land right here and now. Luckily the small hillock he'd spotted earlier was almost there, the ship should be easy to hide behind it.
Oh frakk that's not a hillock it's a frackin' hay barn! and you fool had to lad right into it. Rocket grumbles clawing his way out of the ship now covered in debris from the crash. He couldn't fully see how bad the damage was in the dark & heavy rain but his night vision was sharp enough to make out that it was probably a lightning that had damaged the engine. Nothing he couldn't fix assuming the internal parts weren't damaged beyond repair by the sudden power surge and consequent crash-landing. He hoped the people living at the farm some half a mile away across the field were still sleeping and he could get his ship out before they'd notice any authority about the wreck. Probably have to get a tow truck anyway, damn barn almost collapsed on top of the ship and it's too risky to fly it out without first making sure the engines are fine.
It took him near three hours in a dead of night to get to the nearest city which had been his destination before the crash. Hitchhiking, even if he'd manage to find someone willing, was out of the question since he was still wearing his new blue & black EVA combat flight suit and helmet with silvery highlights, mainly because of the shitty weather. It was too outlandish for him to be seen in public with it at this planet, even when he had draped a tarpaulin over it as a makeshift rain poncho to cover most of it to avoid being asked some possibly very dangerous questions from any passerby's. It was most fortunate that the city streets were almost flooded by the heavy monsoon storm. It made sneaking through the city so much easier for Rocket who thanks to his futuristic state of the art suit was mostly safe from the raging elements.
The lodging establishment was just ahead and as usual it was still open despite the late hours. He couldn't risk Nidnene and their kits by simply walking in when there might be customers about. Rocket leaned against the wall at the alley he was huddled in, pulling the tarpaulin over his head and started to scan through local radio frequencies with the in-built systems in his helmet to pass the time and to get in touch with the local news. So far no one had gotten a scoop about someone finding his spacecraft though he was fairly certain that his luck wouldn't last for longer than possibly following night.
It's getting late and there probably won't be too many customers about in this storm, so might as well close up the saloon a bit early. She thought absently, sweeping the tables clean and collecting empty glasses once the last stubborn customers had left. She would have offered a room but they were already packed and letting people bunk for the night at the saloon floor was just asking for trouble. Storm season was always the best season for the reservations. Her train of thoughts were interrupted by the cloaked figure standing at the dimly lit doorway, not that the Procyonids needed that much light as they could naturally see fairly well in the dark. She frowned at the person in the doorway setting her glass filled tray and cleaning rag down on the side table.
"We're full and I'm closing up the salon. Come back tomorrow unless ye're in absolute need of something wet other than yer clothes in which case its one for the road and yer out'ta here." She announces turning her back on the stranger standing by the door to emphasize her message. The stranger seems to take this in with a slow nod and then pulls the cowl of his rain poncho back -or was it a tarpaulin with a hole cut through? Nidnene noted with slight consternation that she was seeing two reddish orbs gleaming through the visor of some kind of helmet. "Rocket... You really know how to impress a lady ye know, I was half excepting ye to be some crazy slasher or penniless hobo in that cloak." She sighs sagging a little from joy and relief of seeing him again.
Rocket moves inside from the doorway removing his helmet with a slight hissing sound coming from the seals and sets it on the table next to Nidnene's tray before letting his wet DIY-rain poncho follow, landing it in a heap on the hardwood floor, revealing the rest of his rather outlandish outfit. Though supposedly that kind of wear was the norm where ever it was that Rocket lived out there among the stars if his tales were to be believed and looking at the futuristic suit with the jetpacks strapped on the back they weren't that hard to believe. The big male steps next to her to take in her scent with sharp inhales. The strange blue hued gauntlets enclosing his paws retracted to expose his hairy finger tips as he tentatively reaches out with his palms to caress her cheeks. She reaches back slowly, working her way up along the sleeves of that odd suit -it felt so alien, that suit, her touch telling that it was smooth without any grooves which a woven cloth should have but it wasn't slick like plastic either, so strange but his face wasn't that of a stranger and as she reached to take his head between her palms he did the same, slowly pulling their each other's foreheads together and they ,rubbing them together, inhaled their mixed scent in a mutual sigh of contentment.
"I missed you so my love" He whispers quietly.
"The kits have already begun asking if ye're really up there in the sky like I've told 'em." She sighs sounding as tired and as relieved as she felt. Raising three young kits on your own while working a bed & breakfast-pub wasn't easy.
"I'm sorry it was never my intention to harm ya." He apologizes, slowly releasing from the embrace.
"I know, ye had no choice. Come on, let's get that spacesuit off before somebody sees ye in it and I'll make ye some late night supper from the dinner leftovers. " She sighs supressing a yawn, grabbing the glass tray from the table before disappearing into backroom where she lived with her kits.
"The correct term is EVA-suit." Rocket protests half-heartedly, collecting his DIY-poncho and EVA-helmet before following at her wake.
Rocket had at first been almost amused and then annoyed with the clothes he'd been given to choose from. Rocket was actually very large & brawny for a Raccoonoid so much so that most of the clothing, left by Nidnene's male guests over the years, were ill fitting and often out of fashion even with one another. Rocket finally found a pair of black slacks and a thick white collared pleated shirt, that fit without the sleeves threatening to tear from seams if he moved his arms too lively and pants which wouldn't break from crotch when sitting down. They'd have to do for the time he was going to spend here.
Rocket was nursing his wounds from the fashion disaster with a nice pint of ale taken from the help-yourself-all-you-can-drink-tap when a group of five barely legal kids stormed in. They were clearly a bit drunk and drenched wet by the storm. The swollen belly of the girl drew Rockets eyes immediately. They stood by the door for a moment, taking stock of things before the males set their eyes on Rocket, probably thinking him to be the bouncer of the place. He certainly didn't look like the regular patrons in his pleated white collared shirt and black slacks.
"You the bouncer in this joint? Where's the waiter? We want some beer." They hollered setting provocatively around Rocket though Rocket noted the female standing a little back looking at things unfolding with a sort of sick enjoyment in her eyes that many petty manipulators had, which pointed her being the actual ringleader of this annoying posse.
"No, I'm Rocket. Who the frakk are you people? Or more precisely who the frakk are you for me to not to bash your skulls in for bothering me and loitering at my mate's place? Ye should leave if ye ain't got no money 'cause we ain't givin' emergency shelter here." Rocket grunts not feeling particularly generous in the nice guy-department at the moment.
"I'm here to ask for my maternal share. My mates here are just for the company and shelter, you understand or have you got a problem with that, Rocket?" She retorts in behalf of the group pronouncing Rocket's name with a supposedly slandering sneer.
"I might..." Rocket notes gulping down the ale he'd been helping himself earlier before rising from his chair to stand up in his full height.
"Oy, Rocky! Let me handle this -Look lady I'll make a deal with ye. if ye tell yer goons to vacate me premises now I'll let ye stay 'ere for the night and give ye yer share as food by tomorrow mornin' . Alright?" Nidnene yelps attempting to placate the youngsters with promises as she's hurrying from the back-room to salon to stand behind the bar desk, alerted by the voices. All eyes turn on her and the four youngsters look at the punk haired chit of a leader expecting her word. She looks at them, then at Rocket -the big bouncer looking bloke, and then Nidnene, the mid-age nearing proprietress.
"Well how about.. NO! We want our share and we want it now." She declares with a toothy grin. five against two should be easy even if the bouncer was built like a brick shit house.
-The frakk you are!" Rocket hisses grabbing the empty pint from the counter and simultaneously smashed it against the cheek of his nearest opponent who drops immediately, out cold and bleeding, on the floor. He then heaves against the counter with his legs, pushing the three stooges away from him to get more room to fight. The three males recover quickly advancing from all sides but Rocket doesn't wait for them to make the next move, grabbing the wrist of the first one at his right and dodges the second guys clumsy fist by arching his back, pulling the guy he grabbed forward, right on path of the fist while kicking the second one at his right squarely in the stomach winding him momentarily. He then twists the wrist his still holding and wheedles around the guy, servos whirring audibly inside his arms, breaking the wrist in the process before pushing him on the other two trying to advance anew. "Fuck this" the one kicked in the guts grunts pulling out an ugly looking steel knife. His mate grins starting to circle Rocket with him. The knife wielder charges at Rocket while the other guy manages to grab Rocket's shirt collar ripping the shirt apart when Rocket tries to dodge the knife thrust. The action stops almost right there. Both scoundrels still standing, stop to stare at Rocket's upper body cybernetics gleaming metallic even at the dim light of the salon.
"What the fuck are you man!" The one still holding Rocket's tattered shirt in his paws stammers.
"Ya broke my fookin' arm!" The guy lying on the floor mumbles.
"holy crap! The hell is that sound coming from you man, just what the hell are you? You ain't normal! Yer a freak!" The knife wielder spits hefting the knife uncertainly as the cybernetic servos in Rocket make their familiar low- sounding whirr as he moves.
"Cybernetic Organism AKA Cyborg and if ya got a problem with dat -I'll gladly show ye my appreciation for the fact." Rocket grunts gritting his teeth and crouching his shoulders like a wrestler, fueling his anger into his demeanor to hide how much it hurt to hear those words.
"A cyber- what?" the shirt holder asks unfamiliar with the word.
"-s that some kinda special forces-thing or what? Let's find out how tough ye are fer real, wont we fellas?" The one with the knife quips getting slowly more emboldened.
while the males taunt Rocket, the female tearing her eyes off from them decides to use the momentary confusion to grab the cash from the unlocked till behind the counter.
Her plan fails however when Nidnene point at her in the face with an old sawed-off shotgun, rising up from behind the counter. Effectively ending the scuffle.
"Enough! Stand down Rocky and you, get yer paws of my till young lady unless ye want yer unborn to be birthed in an emergency section." She yells getting their attention. Rocket and the males stop what they're doing to look at her, fists still raised. Rocket looks at her and the female she's threatening and steps away from the males lowering his fists.
"Here's a tenner, now git out and take yer loser friends with ye before I call social security on yer ass." She declares placing a ten corg bill on the counter. The female looks at her, the gun and the meager bill on the counter in front of her. She hesitates only a fraction before grabbing the bill and leaves to disappear into the night, her mates bringing the rear and leading their mate who can't walk properly after the trashing from Rocket.
"Now get the frakk out like she says and I don't hafta do it the hard way." Rocket echoes Nidnene.
"Frackas! Why'd ya let e'm leave with yer money Niddy-even if it's just a tenner? They deserve nothing but ta get in'ta chokey." Rocket turns on Nidnene as soon as the door closes.
-Oh Rocky. I sometimes keep forgetting ye ain't from aroun' 'ere. It's the maternity ruling. When yer carrying or with young ones, ye hav' tha right to ask for aid and other are obliged ta giv' but some, like that young lassie, just keep stepping over tha bound 'n proper. She'll get her kits killed one of these days unless she wises up, ye know.
-Then why haven-"
-Because I've got me pride left, that's why. I need no aid from anybody. Come on, yer supper's getting cold. I'll close the shop for the night while ye eat.
"So where'd ya hid ye ship this time?" She asks some moments later, sitting down to watch Rocket eating by the kitchen table at the backroom.
-Oh it's in a barn. A few clicks from tha city, I'll move it first thing tomorrow." Rocket shrugs between mouthfuls of stew.
At the field, where Rocket's ship had crashed through the barn, the animals were voicing their displeasure for the destruction of their shelter while a group of farmhands tried to figure out just what heck it was that had hit their barn as it certainly looked like no airplane they'd ever seen while the obvious answer was just too ridiculous to be voiced despite being right in front of them... UFO's yeah right, ha-ha who'd believe in UFO's?