• "Please, I have a family! A wife, and two children!" The man pleaded, eyes wide in fright. He was a thin human man, a merchant by looks and trade. And now, here on the well-trodden road, was begging for his life. The second man had a faint, amused smile as he stared down at him, and a wet thudding noise sounded behind the two. He let the merchant grovel for a few seconds more, then wave a hand dismissively. The merchant scrambled up gratefully, and ran off as the man turned his back on him. He'd gotten a few good feet away before the man spun around, a pistol in one hand, and fired three times. One hit the base of his spine, the next between his shoulder blades, and the last through his head. The corpse fell face down in a heap.
    The man turned his attention back to the cart the merchant had been taking from one town to another. The two sturdy horses were already dead, and a person in black armor was moving one of the bodies aside with a large axe-like weapon. He glanced up as the other began to reload the pistol, eyes looking through the visor of his helmet. "Why?" He asked simply, in a hollow sounding voice, and the first man shrugged. "No hope for the hopeless, ya see. Can't help what must be done. He would'ntve lasted long anyway." His strange accent drifted over the distance and he went over to root through the bags in the cart. "Aha!" He exclaimed, as he opened one of the bags.
    The sun glinted off the black powder, something that was quickly becoming popular on this world. "Come look at this." He gestured and the armored man came to look. "Isn't it beautiful?" The other man peered over the cart, then sneezed explosively as the wind brought the acrid smell to his nose. " 'Hey, hey! This stuff is dangerous! Gotta be careful with it." He closed the bag and looked out across the plains, dark thunderclouds could be seen in the distance. "Careful, 'least 'til the right time comes along." He raised a hand and squeezed it into a fist. "This place won't last for long, 'twil all be only dust eventually. It shall be my great apocalypse."
    He heard a sharp inhale of breath and turned to look at the man who did most of the brunt work of these small, unnoticeable attacks. "Well, maybe not all dust. This place could be good for somethin'. Mainly entertainment on my part." He nodded to himself. "Alright, saddle up, we're movin' on back to base." The armored man nodded silently and strapped his halberd on his back, taking off his helmet long enough to wipe his forehead before putting it back on.
    He grabbed the beam that the horses would be attached to and began to pull, the heavy wooden cart creaking as it rolled up and out of the ruts the wheels had made. The other man kept staring out at the landscape before catching up to the speeding up cart, using one hand to hop over the side and fall heavily on the sacks and bags. Walking the whole way back would be a hassle, and besides, when there was the option of laziness, he'd take it. "Giddeyup, lil' horsey." He hummed, lying back and crossing his legs, head cradled in his arms behind his head.
    He watched the slowly darkening sky as the cart rolled along, being pulled by the armored man. "Time's gonna catch up with ya, Strider. An' I'll be there with it..." He muttered to himself before dozing off. The sound of his gun going off from before had traveled many miles, to ears in separate places. One person dismissed it, another paused in what they were doing, and someone else sat up straight, head tilted curiously at the loud sound. Thunder went off faintly in the distance, the storm gradually making its way along the sky...