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Finally, the creature came to a standstill facing Grimm. With a grin, Grimm began to move towards it, his hand slipping to his back beneath his coat. As Grimm came close, the Aberrent hunched itself up and with a howl of pure hatred flexed all its muscles. The sound of snapping metal sent chills down Grimm’s spine as the sword shattered and the monstrosity launched itself at him with all its fury. The wickedly sharp blades of the creature’s hand tore through the stylish red shirt that Grimm wore and cut across his stomach as he tried to turn out of the way of the attack.

Miss Wessex gasped as she saw the blow take Grimm in the stomach, but what she saw next shocked her even more. As the blades tore across Grimm’s flesh, sparks flew from the impact and the blades failed to open gashes in him. A dull metallic sheen glinted from the very flesh of Grimm’s torso as if his skin itself was imbued with an alloy. The blades had torn away his shirt leaving him panting in the snow, his jacket still draped around him and steam rising from his body in the chill. With a feral grin that exposed his canines, his respirator dangling from the newly broken strap that should have held it in place, Grimm launched himself at the charging Aberrent. As the thing swung, Grimm took the full blunt of the blow and wrapped his arms and legs around the things arm. The monster began to flail in an attempt to fling the clinging man off. With determination, Grim held on and managed to free a hand to pull an ugly looking gun from his back, beneath his jacket. The weapon looked like a high-powered shotgun akin to the augmented derringers that Lady Wessex used, but there were three curved blades protruding from the barrel that were attached to pistons.

The reason for the blades became known as Grimm hopped off the creature’s arm, timing it so that he landed directly in front of the brute with a moment to spare to make his attack. He shoved the barrel of the gun into the monster’s chest and hit a button on the back of the stock. The pistons drove the blades deep into the Aberrent’s torso, locking the gun against its body. With a malicious howl that reminded the Lady of the Aberrent’s own screams, Grimm pulled the trigger. A blast like the epicenter of a lightning strike tore through the streets as the gun went off. The power augmentation used on Grimm’s gun must have been much stronger than the ones on Lady Wessex’s pistols. The force of the blast tore a hole completely through the monster, spewing blood, sinew and mechanical parts all over the street. The blades that had locked into the monster tore great a chunk of flesh out as the blast hurled Grimm and the gun, like a rag doll, a hundred meters down the street away from the creature to tumble and skid in the dirty snow. The Aberrent staggered a few steps as oil and gore poured out of it before it finally collapsed, an expression of peace and well-being replacing the pained madness on its face, its eyes fading from a tinted red to their normal brown in death.

Shaking heavily from the shock and sweet adrenalin of the fight, Miss Wessex moved towards the still form of Grimm, her eyes glancing over her shoulder to the dead monster every few steps. Pity surged in her as she took in the pathetic, twisted form of the Aberrent. As she got a closer look the metallic sheen to Grimm’s skin was very pronounced with it being slicked by the wetness he had tumbled in. With fear beating in her heart she leaned over the still form before her. She couldn’t tell if she was more afraid that he was dead or that he wasn’t.

A grunt and a deep inhalation from Grimm sent her scuttling back away from him guns half rising. With a moan, he began to push himself to his feet, a quiet, somewhat maniacal chuckling escaping his lips. As he rose he replaced the gore coated gun back in its harness and pulled a wickedly curved dagger from a sheath at his hip. He eyes blazed with an intensity that terrified Miss Wessex as he locked gazes with her, the wetness plastering his curly black hair to his forehead.  

“I do so hope you enjoy this work Lady Wessex. Now that you know my little secret, I am giving you only one choice. I think you can guess what it is.” he whispered, his voice carrying with uncanny force through the silence of the snowfall.

“I suppose I do, death or compliance. In that case, where do we find our next job?” She asked, settling her derringers into the holsters at her shapely hips and trying to appear calm in the face of his metallic sheen.

With a cackling laugh, Grimm stooped and picked up his hat which had fallen off in his tumble and moved past the lady and down the street. With a sigh of resignation and a shiver of growing excitement, she turned and followed the Aberrent hunter.