The First Paradox: Ragol Prologue

By Roy Fokker

Rico Tyrel ran for her life.

The things were everywhere. Every room she ran to throughout the overrun Mines was littered with robots she had never seen until two hours ago. In fact, they were quite literally springing up like clockwork from the metallic floors, almost always surrounding her. Gripping her Saber tightly, she hacked her way through these hordes, desperate to get out, get to the surface, and get the hell off of the death trap that Ragol had now become.

Not in a few hours, not in minutes, not even seconds. Now. She wanted out now.

Running as fast as she was, it was no surprise that she slipped on the floor, sliding headfirst into a cargo container.

“Damn it all…” she hissed, massaging the now swelling bump on her forehead.

Taking in her surroundings, she sighed in relief, having apparently achieved a moments rest. The small chamber she now took refuge in was devoid of any damn mechanical nightmares.

Devoid of other people.

Her loneliness could be blamed on the robotic hellspawn in the other rooms. Originally, when the first explosion occurred, she’d been working in the lower mine level. Accompanying her were at least twenty scientists, and ten other hunters that happened to be stationed there. The Purple People Eater himself was there too. Quiet, even for a HUcast…

Thinking about them isn’t going to change a single thing! They’re all dead, and you couldn’t do a thing to-

The door slid open with its whirr-click noise, and in staggered a Ranger.

Bleeding from an all too obvious hole in his chest-plate armor, the RAmar dragged his way towards Rico, but his body was unwilling to go the few feet that remained between him and the surprised Hunter, and he collapsed towards the deck-

Rico dashed in, catching him before his head struck the floor. “Rand! Oh man…don’t you DARE die on me! You’re the only decent thing I’ve see in the past hour!” She tried to make the Ranger smile, tried to keep him relaxed, but there was damn little she could do.

“H…hey Red Ring. K-k-kept ya worried…. S…sorry…” Rand was shivering in a way that threatened to shed away his armor through widening the cracks in it. He was pretty much going to die right in Rico’s arms. His head lolled back, lucid from the blood loss, cold from it. His teeth were stained with his own blood, easily seen by the way he clenched his teeth to keep them from chattering.

“Rand, the others! You’ve got to tell me if there are any other survivors! I might be able to help them, and I might find you medical atten-“

“Shut up….Rico… We got jumped by these gold things… I-I-it was a c-c-cluster fuck…” He cracked a smirk before coughing out blood.. “I-I- guess you’re all that’s l-l-left of our research section, huh?”

Tears brimmed from her eyes. “No…no Rand… PLEASE! You…you’re still here, right now! We can work together! We can beat this!”

Rand’s eyes, glazed over from shock, suddenly became utterly clear. His glowing green eyes met Rico’s brown ones. He slipped away from her grasp gently, becoming heavier by the second, also becoming too slippery with his own blood. “I….I would love to stick around….and help protect ya….but I’m having a hard enough time even seeing your pretty face….” Gently, he closed his eyes, but continued to speak. His voice suddenly lost its wavering rasp as he said:

“ If…I…had met…you…a few years…younger…I’d have…never let you…go…” Sighing one last time, the ranger closed his eyes.

Rand was dead.

Big Silent Purple and his Dr. Osto, were apparently gone too. The doctor himself had to have been dead, if Kireek was. Rand now…and eight other hunters, and countless civilians…

Rico had run from them. If she had stayed, would it had made any difference?

Would Rand have died in her arms just now?

"I’m a coward. A bloody coward. I ran, while others died…"

Rico shook with a sudden fury she had never felt in her life.

Red Ring Rico NEVER ran from anything.

And now she was contemplating it. Screw that, she thought.

Something, obviously thinking it was big and badass, caused the explosion that ruined her life starting two hours ago, and Rico suspected two things; They were screwed, and it had to do with Osto’s secret crap he’d tried hiding from Rico when confronted about it earlier.

Not on my new planet. Not on Pioneer 2’s new planet. Just wait, whatever you are. I’ll find you and kill you myself!

Still, it meant getting to the surface. She needed to warn off the approaching colonial vessel. She needed to warn them that there was no safe haven here either.

Rico took the massive Visk-235W Photon Rifle from Rand’s hands, slinging it over her back. It was the typical standard issue big gun that rangers liked to have handy, coming with unlimited big gun ammunition. Nice toy. She walked towards the next room, her crimson saber out, ready for Gods-know-what. To her relief, a serene looking teleport device that would take her up that much faster. As her body faded away from the mines she would return to many hours from now, she gave a last look at Rand’s corpse, and said. “Here I come, whatever the hell you are…”

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