Nadia lifted the goggles off of her eyes with a sigh, placing them on her head. Her target had escaped her once again. She had been hunting him ever since she had come across the bounty several weeks ago. The only description of her target, Lev Vladimirovich, was the silver rose tattooed onto the side of his neck and the explicit warning of extreme hazard. It was as if no one could ever get close enough to learn more.

Nadia rubbed her eyes before replacing the goggles and jumped off of the high ledge, falling into the steam that was rising from the power plant below her. With a flick of her wrist a grappling hook shot out of a gauntlet, gears wiring as it latched onto the opposite ledge, pulling her towards it as whistling resounded to her left. There was nothing to see but light carving a path back and forth over the dense mist. Nadia looked around for the source as a deep voice called out to her.
“Why don’t we stop this game of cat and mouse? You bore me; I thought that a highly skilled bounty hunter like yourself would be more fun to chase.”

Nadia slid the gun from its holster and switched out the ammo. “And here I thought I was the one hunting you.”

A loud clank resounded off to her right. “Sweetie, you have a lot to learn if you think the person giving chase is the one who is chasing.”

Nadia scanned the area watching as shadows darted through the light. Blue eyes penetrated up to her in a rather challenging and mocking way. Nadia leveled the gun at her target at the exact moment it was shot out of her hands and a grappling hook struck the railing next to her. She picked up her gun as Lev climbed over the rail and stepped arrogantly out of the mist; for the first time she could see him clearly.

A long ebony coat appeared over a silver vest. He had tan skin that offset his blue eyes and his hair, the color of night, was perfectly in place as if he was merely relaxing at home. She lifted her gun towards him as he lifted a finger and wagged it, “tsk”-ing.

“You still think you can win? I have you cornered.” He swept his hand inside his coat and pulled out a small metal box with a singular button on the top. He pressed it as Nadia looked from the device to his face. The sight of his strong jaw and alabaster gaze captivated her. Nadia’s gun sparked, giving off a small puff of grey smoke, pulling her back to reality. She threw it down in frustration and embarrassment as Lev stepped forward and pushed her against the wall.

He leaned in close, sliding past her face to whisper into her ear. “You need to try harder Nadia. How long have you been chasing me? Consider this my Valentine’s gift to you: your life.” He slid a strand of her disheveled red hair out of her face and behind her ear, lightly trailing his finger over her blushing cheeks. Briskly, he turned and jumped off of the ledge, turning in the air so she could see him smirking. Nadia, with a mix of embarrassment and fury, vowed to herself that she would spend her whole life, if necessary, to capture him. She would succeed; if only to wipe that infuriating smirk off his face.

About the Author

Written by Kit, a LARPer and dreamer. I have not been into Steampunk long, but a lot of my fellow LARPers are obsessed with it so I have been learning from them and slowly becoming just as obsessed as they are. I don’t know if it is the classy corsets and gadgets and gears, the different colors and alternate worlds, but what I do know is that there is nothing in the world that is like it. It is this uniqueness that draws me.