Chapter One

I was only eight years old when I started to help my dad work. He would welcome me with open arms when I helped him. I never really had a childhood. Working with my dad meant no going out to play with my friends, no fun. It meant being an adult while I was still a kid. Whenever I saw any of my friends having fun, I would feel sad. I would ask my dad “Why can’t I live like I did in my childhood,” and he would answer, “Because we are from a poor family.”

I didn’t go school because of my dad and mom. This was illegal, but they didn’t care. One day, I heard a knock at the door. I looked out the window that was right near the door, and saw the town sheriff. I ran to the door, but right when I put my hand on the door handle, my mom held my hand and whispered, “Go away and hide somewhere.” I went upstairs and my mom opened the door. A while later I heard gunshots. I was scared, opened my wardrobe, and jumped in. I closed the wardrobe and hid there. Soon, I heard my mom’s scream and a cruel voice said “Hahahaha! Find the lil’ boy now!”

Wait what?! I then heard more gunshots and decided to jump out of the window, as I thought I was the “lil’ boy” they meant. The closer they came, the more my apprehension intensified. I made the final decision and jumped out of my window. I broke my leg, then I heard the sheriff’s voice saying “Aghhh! Some-” then he stopped. I was pretty sure he died. I couldn’t handle my pain anymore and shouted “AGHHH! Someone help me! I broke my leg!”.

Then I heard the cruel voice again. The voice said, “He’s in the garden! Get him!”
Another crappy voice said, “Master, policemen are right there.”, and he pointed at my house’s entrance. The cruel voice said, “Oh no! We better leave this house now!”. I heard fast footsteps, then I fainted.

When I woke up, I found myself in a hospital room. I tried to get up but the nurse next to me said “No, little boy, you need to rest.” Then I felt a headache. I couldn’t resist and fell asleep again. When I woke up again, there was no nurse next to me. I heard fire alarms and smelled the burn. The fire was not too far away from me. I tried getting up, but I couldn’t, as my leg was still broken. I screamed “Some- someone please help me! I’m gonna die to this fire!” Then I heard footsteps in my room. Perhaps someone is coming to save me, I thought. But no, this guy aimed his gun on me, saying “Get up now, or else I’m gonna shoot you,” as I wondered where I had heard his crappy voice before. I realized that this was the voice that told his master to leave the house when policemen had come! Oh no! I thought. This is my very end!

Then that crappy man shouted “Hey, you there! I’m talking to you!”. “Sorry,” I mused. “Please leave me alone! I broke my leg!” “Yeah, sure. If you don’t get up in 5 seconds, I’m gonna shoot you,” he growled at me.

I knew there was no way I could get out of this. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. The crappy man was still counting down. At zero, I heard a gunshot, but I didn’t feel any pain… I fell asleep again and I started dreaming. I was surrounded by white clouds and there were some children jumping from cloud to cloud… I thought I was in heaven… Everywhere was white.

When I woke up again I was in a different room or hospital this time and there was no fire smell. Either firefighters came and put out the fire, or I was moved to a different hospital, I thought. I heard gunshot noises again and breaking glass sounds. I thought, Enough of this! What the heck is going on? I couldn’t hold on anymore and jumped out of the bed. Wait, what? My leg isn’t broken anymore? I felt strong and was right about to run to hallway but I heard a high pitched girl voice from outside. I couldn’t understand what it said in the first place, so I decided to run to the window, and so I did. I didn’t see the small bottle containing a strange liquid lying on the floor. I stumbled on it, but luckily, nothing happened to my leg and I was close to the window so I could hear the voices. I heard a falcon-man-like voice which said, “Feathers on the order!”. Then the high pitched girl voice said, “Aghh! Stick a fork in me, I’m done!” Then I heard the deep falcon-man-like voice saying, “Sharpies on the way!”

I finally got up and cautiously walked to the window. I saw a little girl with blond hair flying with a pink umbrella and a falcon-man flying at her. She threw three toy bombs at at the falcon-man but falcon-man easily dodged those. The falcon-man almost caught the girl, but then they both crashed into a window in Block B of the hospital. It was then that I realised this was the Outlaw Camp beside the hospital. It was another haven of Bounty Hunters. But what would a little girl and a falcon-man be doing there? Why would the falcon-man chase the little girl?

I became really curious and decided to go to Block B. I heard gunshot noises again. I was used to it now, though, and I didn’t really care about it, but then I heard pain sounds.

I finally had reached outside. Should I just leave this area of gun noises, danger, and fighting? I thought to myself. But then I thought, What am I going to do after leaving this place anyway. My mom probably di- wait what? Then I started crying. Maybe she’s not dead. Maybe- I consoled myself, but then there were gunshot noises again. At the end, I could not resist my curiosity and ran to Block B. I quickly ran upstairs to the third floor, where all of the rooms were open. I ran through all the rooms and saw them in Room 5. They were both lying on the floor with pieces of glass on them. In some places, glass pieces had stung in and caused them to bleed. I shouted for help. A robot voice said “Danger mode: Engaged.”. The voice came from upstairs, and its words were followed by the sound of it shooting huge balls at me. They could bounce off walls, and one of them hit my wrist. I yelled “Help me! Aghhh,” as I felt the pain on my wrist. I said to myself, “Enough of this! I will be a Sheriff and maintain peace in this stupid town that only fights!” I realized I would need help, so I went upstairs and made a sign that showed that I was friendly to the robot. He recognized the sign and he did the same. He said, “Teamwork for the win,” and I asked him, “Do you have any friends?” He answered, “Barley the publican.” I asked, “What’s your name,” and he answered, “Ricochet, and what is yours?”
“Mine is… umm… I don’t remember,” I said. Then I remembered the little girl and the falcon-man needed immediate help. I told this to Rico and he called Barley. Barley took doctor supplies and we went downstairs to Room 5. Barley said “Call 911 immediately” to Rico. Rico said “Immediately, sir,” and called 911, telling about the situation. They said an ambulance was coming to move the injured people to another hospital. I asked Barley, “What happened to this hospital?” He started to respond, “Shelly’s ga-” but was cut off by a gunshot noise coming from right behind me, as well as electric sounds. Barley was hit! Rico got so angry that he immediately engaged Danger mode and shot a ton of balls but he couldn’t hit the guy who shot Barley. He went out and chased after the killer, but I called him back. “Rico! We need to save Barley!” He was running out of energy because of the leakage. Rico took a piece of metal with a piece of tape and filled the leakage. We tried waking him up, but our attempts failed. We then heard the ambulance and we were about take the girl and the falcon man outside with stretchers, but if we had left Barley alone he could have died. So I went downstairs and told the ambulance service about the situation. Three people came with me and we took the little girl and the falconman to the ambulance. Ricochet was still waiting with Barley. I then went upstairs and I asked Rico, “Do you have a car?” He replied, “Yes, but I’m kind of an amateur at driving.” I suggested that we use the car anyways. We carried Barley to the car and Rico and I sat in the front seats. “Wait,” I said, “Let’s plug Barley into the car socket!” I opened the door and went back to the back seats. I plugged Barley in and sat back in my seat. Rico started driving, and I told him to take me to Stormy Street, second house to the right. He opened an app on his phone showing him the route to Stormy Street. I asked for his phone number, in case I need to contact him. He showed me the number and I wrote it in my small notebook. After some time we were at Stormy Street. I told Rico to stop the car and I left it. I quickly ran to my house. I found my dad, the sheriff and my mom lying on the floor. There was cruor on my mom’s head. I cried so much. I checked my dad’s heart if it was beating, but no, it wasn’t!

So I left the house, crying and slowly walking to Junker family’s house. I was 13 at this point.
The situation in the Junker family was no better from my family’s one. Their daughter, Jessie started working on her mom’s workshop when she was 9. She was 12 now. I told them what happened. Mama J. cried because she was my mom’s sister, and Jessie was my cousin. So on, I started to live with the Junkers and work on my aunt’s workshop. I called Rico after a week, to ask if he knew anything about what happened to the little girl and the falcon man. He said he didn’t know, and that he was about to go on an operation so he shouldn’t call him. I asked “What about Bar-” and he ended the call. I sighed and went back to work.

After one month, Ricochet called me, saying, “Barley and I are coming to take you from your house. We need to talk about something.“ I said, “Okay. When are you coming to take me?” Rico said, “In 5 minutes,” and ended the call. I said to my aunt “I’m going out to talk with my friends in 5 minutes,” and she said, “Ask your uncle.” I said, “Okay,” and went upstairs. I asked my uncle, ”Hey, Uncle, Can I go out talk with my friends?” He said, “No. Go to the workshop now!” I begged for so long that he finally accepted it.

Then I went out and waited for a minute. They then came and I got into the car. I asked “Where are we going to talk?” Rico answered “In Barley’s pub.” and then we talked about a few useless things. And I remembered to ask “What had happened to the hospital? Barley had said ‘Shelly’s ga-’ and he got hit by a bullet.”. This time Barley answered, “Shelly and her gang attacked the hospital.” I asked “For what reason, exactly,” and he replied, “We don’t know. But from what they were shouting to each other, it sounded like they were looking for a little boy.”
“That’s me! They raided my house. My mom, the sheriff, and my dad died. After I heard gunshots I jumped out of the window and broke my leg. When I cried, they heard it and their master said, ‘He’s in the garden! Get him!’ but policemen came just in time to save me, so they ran away. I don’t remember what happened after that because I fainted and found myself in the hospital room.” I said. At this point, I needed to be strong and kept my emotions inside. Barley shouted “We’re on to the bar! Come on!” and we got into the car. Ricochet eased the car into a narrow space, as the pub was too crowded. Barley led us to a tiny room which only had a table and 4 chairs. I sat down as Barley did. They sat on the chairs that were facing me. There was silence for at least 5 minutes. Then, I broke the silence “So, what do you want to tell me?”. “Last night,” Rico said. “pirates attacked the seaside. The whole town is in a great danger. We need to take you to a safe place.” “What about my family,” I asked. Rico said, “You said your mom and dad were dead,” and I answered, “Yes, I started to live with my cousin’s family. They’re sort of my family now.” Rico said “Look: We can’t tell your family about this. Let’s just hope nothing bad happens to them.” I asked “How am I going to tell my family about this?” Barley replied, “Simple- you won’t do that. We’re leaving this town after the meeting.” I responded, “I understand, but my aunt is going to be really worried about this.”
Ricochet said, “Then call your aunt and tell her not to worry about you,” and I replied, “I’m not sure if that’s gonna work, but I will try.” Before I finished speaking, Barley immediately interrupted, “No, that will make your aunt worry even more,” so we decided that we wouldn’t call her.

We went to a police base, far away from the city. This base was really big and it was the only place Shelly’s gang was too frightened to go. They wouldn’t even use the highway a couple of miles away from the base.

Meanwhile, at the town, pirates had just dropped anchor on the beach, and a bot pirate slowly slid down to the beach on a rope. Others were waiting on the deck. The bot reached the beach, and cried out, “Wait! I think I saw someone with a gun,” as he slowly walked to the anchor. Other pirates could not see him, so he started to cut the anchor. He finished cutting in a few seconds and the ship started to get hit by waves of wind and the sea. The bot ran to the town and the ship started to move. All the rest of the pirates cursed him as they drifted out to sea.

While we were at the bar, we got a call. It was a police friend of Rico’s, and he was responsible for keeping an eye out for pirates. Rico took the call and his friend shouted, “The pirates are going back! A pirate bot came down to the beach and cut the anchor free, so they have to go back and get a new anchor!” Rico answered “This is great news! Now we have the chance to build a security fortress to prevent pirates from ever landing on the beach!”

Rico drove us to the beach, and we started to look for the pirate bot that saved the town from an invasion. I found him behind a rock, and he saw me. He trained his gun on me and shouted, “Don’t move, or I will shoot you!”

I was too scared to shout for help.

To be continued…

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