Unwilling to completely trust the stranger who had just saved her life, Diana focused her weapon on the man who had just dispatched the three Marauders who had her cornered. The man swept his torch and spotted Diana's Suppressed Submachine Gun aimed in his direction. His revolver was quickly leveled at her head and she was staring down its barrel as fast as she could blink.
"Look, stranger. I don't know who you are, but hear them out. I'm not their friend. I killed ten of them just to get in here." The man said to her to try and defuse the tension that was filling the room and threatened to explode into another gunfight. Diana hesitated for a moment but did not lower her weapon. What if he was a Shadow Collective gunman sent to win her trust and then shoot her in the back of the head when she let her guard down? Diana was not willing to trust him just yet.
The man suddenly lowered his weapon and put it back in its holster on his right hip. Diana reciprocated by lowering her weapon and dispelling it. The tension in the room went away along with her weapon.
"Let's get outta here, stranger. There's gonna be more of them coming along and we don't wanna be standing around when they get here." He suggested. Setting aside her concerns, Diana approached the stranger and took him up on his suggestion. The man looked surprised that she could still see him despite wearing sunglasses in a dark cavern.
"You're wearing sunglasses in a place like this? You mages are mighty strange..." He commented before leading Diana past the bodies and out of the cave. Diana saw that the man's claim was true. In addition to the five men she had killed in the shootout before his arrival, she walked past seven additional bodies clogging the passage.
-Outside the cave, in Mysterious Canyon-
"Looks like we're in the clear, but not for long. They'll be back and they'll bring plenty of friends for the party." Diana's rescuer said to her, tossing aside the torch since they were now in daylight. Three bodies lay outside the cave entrance with gunshot wounds to the chest and head. There were the other three men that the stranger claimed to have fought through to get to her. Diana looked at the man and got a better look at her rescuer.
He was a man with black hair that reached down past his ears and a black beard that looked like it was growing back in after having been shaved. His mustache was also black and had a part on the right side that looked like a scar he had gotten in a fight. He wore a dark vest and dark pants with a tan long-sleeved button-up shirt and a black ten-gallon hat on his head. On his hip was a holster; slung across his right shoulder was a bandolier with rifle ammunition and slung across his left shoulder was a brown leather satchel.
"I'm Ben." The man introduced himself by extending a gloved hand to her.
"I am... Diana." Diana introduced herself to him, shaking his hand. Ben looked surprised that he was not dealing with a man, but with a woman.
"I never thought that you were a woman. You look just like a man in that outfit of yours." Ben replied candidly. Diana did not take offense because the outfit disguising her feminine features was intentional. She had a feeling that women could expect exceptionally poor treatment at the hands of the Marauders.
"I take it you have a score to settle with the High Plains Marauders?" Ben asked her.
"In a manner of speaking, I do. I have been hired to eliminate as many of them as possible, if not eliminate them entirely." Diana admitted to the man.
"Lemme guess... the Capital Crocus Merchant's Association hired you to do this?" Ben asked.
"Yes." Diana answered laconically.
"I used to work for them about thirty years ago. I rode with them as a caravan guard and saw a lot of places across Earthland. I've been to Holy Castle, to Seven, to Midi, and a lotta places I forgot the name of. I never woulda gotten to travel if I didn't join them." Ben explained to her how he knew about the company. So far Ben seemed to be legitimate and not a Shadow Collective member trying to gain her confidence. She would take a chance on the gunslinger and see what he could do in a fight.
- Ben's Appearance:
[Word Count: 784]
[Total Word Count: 3,808/7,000]