It was hard for him, standing out in the open like this, but there were times when he forgot himself as Max escaped from one close shave after another. Found he wished he could do something, but at this range, he was too afraid of hitting Max instead of Erix. At first he had some decent shots when they were still on the beach, but chose to honor Max’s request to let him confront Erix alone at first and only interfere if he lost, but then the fight danced among the supports and up the stairs, moving farther and farther up until he doubted he could target Erix at all as they shifted back and forth across the deck up there.
There were moments when he could hardly believe he was doing this, much like on Aru. The thought had crossed his mind several times to just take the treasure and run, maybe toss his last couple EMP grenades at the Island Patrol ships as he went by. Yet he found he wasn’t serious, it was nothing more than a passing whim as he watched his friend; that it just didn’t seem that important at the moment.
That, and he kept telling himself that he couldn’t just leave with Bandit sitting on deck like this.
“Max!” Justin screamed, nearly fumbling his binoculars as he watched his friend go over the edge.
Seeing he now had no choice, he put down the binoculars and took up his new crossbow. Feared it was just barely in range, but at least he had a clear shot. There were too many obstacles and too much risk of hitting Max in that melee, but it was now or never.
Then, even as he was drawing a bead on his enemy, he saw Erix go down and Shades, of all people, step in to help his friend. Justin stayed his finger, sliding it back from the trigger as he watched this precarious rescue attempt. Found himself holding his breath as well as his fire, hoping Shades could pull it off.
Without warning, a shadow that could only be one thing loomed up behind Shades, yanking him back.
“Shit!” Justin hissed, wondering what he could do now, but knowing that both of their survival depended on him doing something, the sooner the better.
Remembering the extra mini-bolts he picked up along with his new weapon, he reloaded frantically, knowing full well that this would all hinge on that balcony still being within bow range. Hoping desperately that he was not too late, he took aim again. Waiting until he could pick out Erix’s position cleanly again, relieved that he wouldn’t have to actually aim this one at him.
This time, he fired.