A Beast at Bay

Mei-Lin watched the destruction from afar. The once-beautiful city Vuban of Neptune was now a smoldering wasteland. The blue-green island was now an eerie shade of gray. The ocean’s waves no longer lapped at the shore, instead replaced with debris and rubble. She had arrived too late to stop the attack, but she was determined to find those responsible.

She walked through the destruction, careful not to step on anything that could harm her. She saw the bodies of the victims of the attack, and her heart sank. She knew that she had to do something to bring those responsible to justice.

As she walked, she found a piece of paper that had been partially burnt but still had legible writing on it. The paper was a flyer for a party that had been held the night before the attack. Mei-Lin knew that it could be a clue, so she took it with her.

Mei-Lin went to the address on the flyer, which led her to a luxurious apartment building. She knocked on the door of the apartment where the party had been held but got no answer. She tried to listen for any sounds from inside but heard nothing.

She decided to wait, thinking that someone would eventually come out of the apartment. After a few hours of waiting, a man came out, and Mei-Lin followed him. He led her to an underground parking lot where he got into a car and drove off.

Mei-Lin tried to memorize the license plate number and the make and model of the car, but it was too dark to see. She decided to ask around and see if anyone had seen the car.

Mei-Lin asked the local authorities if they had any information about the car she had seen. They told her that they had seen a car matching the description she gave, but it had been reported stolen.

She then went to a local bar and started asking questions. She learned that the car belonged to a local gang, and that the gang had been seen in the area around the time of the attack. She also learned that the gang was known for being ruthless and for having a leader named “The Tiger.” What? Wasn’t he in prison? Did he escape?

Mei-Lin found out where the Tiger’s hideout was and made her way there. The hideout was a dingy warehouse on the outskirts of the city. Mei-Lin could hear music coming from inside, and she knew that the gang was having a party.

She sneaked around the warehouse, looking for a way in. She found an open window and crawled inside. Once inside, she realized that she had underestimated the size of the gang. There were dozens of members, all heavily armed and dangerous.

Mei-Lin tried to blend in, but she knew that it was only a matter of time before someone recognized her. She started to look for any clues that might help her find the Tiger.

Mei-Lin found a notebook with a list of the gang’s hideouts. She also found a journal that belonged to the Tiger. She read through it, hoping to find any information that would lead her to him.

She was in the middle of reading when she heard footsteps. She turned around and saw a man standing in front of her. He had a gun pointed at her, and he looked angry.

“You don’t belong here,” he said.

Mei-Lin knew that she had been caught. She tried to talk her way out of the situation, but the man was not interested in listening. He takes a step towards her, but she was faster. While she was talking to him, she pulled a small vial out of her pocket. Now she threw it in his face. The vial was designed to burst when it hit the guard’s forehead. Its contents, a strange green liquid, spilled onto the guard’s face. He immediately fell down and was unconscious.
“It was a boring conversation anyway,” Mei-Lin murmured. She searched the guard and found an access card. This could be useful so she took it from him. Then she turned back to the papers and found what she was looking for: a map! On this map was marked a point that seemed to be important.

Mei-Lin was about to sneak away when she noticed another piece of paper. What was that? The outline of a building was drawn on the paper. It took a moment, then Mei-Lin realized that it was the outline of the prison where the Tiger had been held captive. So someone had freed him! But who?

She had just asked herself the question when she saw a mark on the paper. She had to look closely, but then she could make out the letters: L-O-R-D P-A-V-O-R. She had heard that name before. Like the Tiger, he too was a terrorist leader. But that he was now working with the tiger…
“One thing at a time,” Mei-Lin said to herself. Do the urgent things first. Find out more about what’s going on and then hunt down the Tiger, Lord Pavor or whoever.

Mei-Lin left the city and headed towards the coordinates on the map. After several hours of driving, she finally arrived at the destination. It was an abandoned building in the middle of nowhere. The windows were shattered, and the roof was caved in. Mei-Lin hesitated for a moment, but then she steeled herself and got out of the car.

She entered the building with caution, taking each step carefully. The place was filled with debris and garbage, but there was a path that looked recently cleared. She followed it, and after a few turns, she found herself facing a steel door. There was a card reader next to it, and Mei-Lin used the access card she had obtained from the guard. The door slid open with a hiss, and Mei-Lin stepped inside.

The room was dimly lit, and Mei-Lin could hear the sound of machinery in the background. She could see a figure sitting in front of a console, typing away at the keyboard. Mei-Lin approached the figure cautiously, and when she was close enough, she saw that it was a woman. The woman was in her early thirties, with short blonde hair and green eyes. She was wearing a lab coat over her clothes, and Mei-Lin could see that there were various tools and gadgets scattered around the room.

The woman looked up when Mei-Lin cleared her throat, and a smile appeared on her face. “Ah, you must be Mei-Lin,” she said, standing up from the console. “I’ve been expecting you.”

Mei-Lin narrowed her eyes. “Who are you?”

The woman chuckled. “My name is Dr. Rachel Lee. I’m the one who designed the weapon that was used in the attack on Neptune.”

Mei-Lin’s eyes widened. “You’re the one responsible for killing all those people?”

Dr. Lee shrugged. “I’m a scientist. I don’t concern myself with the ethics of my work. I’m only interested in pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

Mei-Lin gritted her teeth. “Where is Lord Pavor?”

Dr. Lee shook her head. “I don’t know. He’s gone into hiding, and I haven’t heard from him in weeks.”

Mei-Lin’s fists clenched. “You expect me to believe that?”

Dr. Lee shrugged. “Believe what you want. The fact remains that I can help you find him.”

Mei-Lin raised an eyebrow. “And why would you want to do that?”

Dr. Lee smiled. “Let’s just say that Lord Pavor and I have a difference of opinion. I’d like to see him brought to justice, and I’m willing to help you do that.”

Mei-Lin hesitated for a moment, but then she nodded. “Fine. What do you know?”

Dr. Lee walked back to the console and typed something into the keyboard. “I’ve been tracking his movements, and I’ve found that he’s been communicating with someone on Mars. I don’t know who this person is, but I do have their location.”

Mei-Lin frowned. “And where is that?”

Dr. Lee turned to face her. “It’s a secret facility on the outskirts of Olympus Mons. It’s heavily guarded, but if you’re careful, you should be able to sneak in.”

Mei-Lin nodded. “Thank you, Dr. Lee. I’ll take it from here.”

Dr. Lee smiled. “Good luck, Mei-Lin. And be careful. Lord Pavor is not someone to be trifled with.”

Mei-Lin left the room and headed back to her car. The term “car” was a bit imprecise, it was a vehicle that worked with antigravity. However, Mei-Lin didn’t care, the main thing was that she could reach her goal. Frighteningly, finding the tiger’s lair was very easy. It was exactly where the scientist had described it. One facility, one big building. And an inviting staircase leading upstairs.

Mei-Lin’s heart raced as she reached the top of the stairs. She could hear voices coming from the other side of the door. Taking a deep breath, she slowly pushed the door open.

The room inside was dark and filled with smoke. Mei-Lin could barely make out the shapes of people moving around in the shadows. She could hear the sound of weapons being loaded, and her heart rate increased even more.

Suddenly, a beam of light shone in her direction, and she realized that she had been spotted. Without thinking, she drew her gun and fired, taking down the man holding the flashlight.

The other terrorists quickly sprang into action, firing their weapons at Mei-Lin. She dove behind a nearby crate, returning fire as quickly as she could.

The sound of gunshots echoed through the room as the two sides exchanged fire. Mei-Lin could feel her heart pounding in her chest as she dodged bullets and fired back at her attackers.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the gunfire died down. Mei-Lin slowly stood up, scanning the room for any signs of movement. She could see the bodies of several terrorists lying on the ground, but there was no sign of Dirus.

As she cautiously made her way towards the exit, she heard a faint sound coming from behind a nearby door. She approached it slowly, gun at the ready, and pushed it open.

Inside, she found Dirus, his hands on a console. He turned around, a wicked smile on his face.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Mei-Lin,” he said.

Mei-Lin raised her gun, aiming it directly at Dirus. “It’s over, Dirus. You’re going to pay for what you’ve done.”

Dirus just chuckled. “You have no idea what you’re up against, Mei-Lin. Lord Pavor is more powerful than you can imagine. He’s been planning this for years, and you’re just a small piece in his game.”

Mei-Lin didn’t flinch. “I don’t care. I’ll stop him, no matter what it takes.”

With that, she pulled the trigger, and Dirus crumpled to the ground. Mei-Lin let out a sigh of relief, feeling the weight of the world lift off her shoulders.

But even as she left the room, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something bigger was at play. Lord Pavor was still out there, and she knew that he wouldn’t give up until he had achieved his ultimate goal.

Mei-Lin made her way back to the surface of Neptune, feeling a mix of exhaustion and triumph. She knew that the fight was far from over, but she was determined to see it through to the end. She had come too far to back down now.

As she boarded her ship and set course for the next destination, Mei-Lin couldn’t help but wonder what other challenges lay ahead. But one thing was for sure: she was ready for anything that came her way.

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