Mystery Fusion
By Brian Randall

Disclaimers and explanations at the bottom. This one isn't _nearly_ as subtle as my last attempt.

The wind breezed across the dry expanse of earth in front of a moving figure, rustling its coat and picking up dust.

The figure is a man, or maybe more appropriately, a boy. He pulls his coat about him tighter, despite the heat, and trudges towards a city in the distance.

In the city, two figures are sitting on strange riding beasts, waiting expectantly.

One of them is a hulking brute of a man in a concealing white cloak. The other is much more diminutive, and her cloak is open. Occasionally an errant breeze will ruffle the cloak, revealing a bandoleer of some kind of small weapon stuck to the inside of the cloak.

The man turns towards the girl, "Do you think he's going to come here?"

The girl nods absently, "If our sources are to be believed, then he'll be arriving any moment now."

Slowly trudging forward, the figure from earlier approaches from one end of the street.

The girl's hands tighten on the reigns of her riding beast, "Do you think that's him?"

For a long moment, the man just stares, then gives a slight nod, "I believe so. The red coat. The hat... the hair... and... yes. That's him."

Giving the man a curt nod, the girl dismounts and approaches the man. Startled by her approach, the man drops a small animal, "Ah... can I help you?"

Smiling widely, the girl bows deeply, "I think so. I'm from... a certain insurance agency... and me and my partner, Mr. Thompson," she paused to point at the man, who bowed and gave a slight nod, "are here to keep an eye on you, to try and keep damages to a minimum."

The boy is silent for a long moment, while the small animal climbs up his leg and disappears into his coat. "Are you sure you know who I am?"

From his own position near the riding beasts, Mr. Thompson nodded, "I think Miss Stryfe has the right person. Can we... take you to a cafe and talk about this for a bit? We'd like to get on the good side of the most dangerous man-"

The insurance agents froze, as the small animal dropped out of the boy's coat and scurried away. The coated man turned to watch it run away, and shook his head, "She'll be back. What was this about free food?"

Mr. Thompson grinned widely, "My kind of guy! Ah... how should we call you? My name is B..."

The boy shrugged, and interrupted the man, "You already know my name, don't you?"

Miss Stryfe nodded, "Of course. Was the animal-"

"She's not an animal. She goes where she pleases. We're friends."

"Is it... safe to leave her alone like that?"

The boy winced, tugging the hat down over his eyes slightly, "About that food?"


On the other side of town, near a small explosives depot maintained for mining, the small animal that the boy had dropped nosed around. Catching a snoot full of dust, it reared back, and drew its breath in to sneeze.


While the boy had gone to the washroom, Mr. Thompson leaned close to Miss Stryfe, "I'm not certain, if it's really him, there should be some sign to prove-"

He was cut off by an echoing roar, a monstrously loud, 'Chu!' noise.

Before either insurance agent could collect their wits, they found themselves tucked under the coated boy's arms as he leapt through the window and charged down the street.

Miss Stryfe had the presence of mind to ask what he thought he was doing, and to ask how he could carry a man the size of Mr. Thompson under one arm, when an booming explosion rang out behind them, sending her pigtails flapping in the wind of its passage.

Once the three stood again, the boy shook his head, eyeing the blasted crater that remained where a city once stood, "I'm not sure how, but at least no-one was hurt."

Miss Stryfe swallowed nervously, "You really are him, aren't you?"

The boy nodded, kneeling as a slightly charred animal bounded towards him. "Yeah. I'm him." Gathering the animal in his arms, he brushed the soot away to reveal the yellow fur beneath, "Ash the Stampede. The 60,000,000,000 double dollar Pokemaster."

Misty Stryfe shot a glance to Brock Thompson, and nodded.

Disclaimer: neither Pokemon or Trigun belong to me.

Author's note: It's an image that wouldn't leave my head until written.