The Basin | Mid-Night
11 DENTIS 2718
Gale did not notice the Galdor that lingered among the others, or more correctly in the faint buzzing of the night lights, the thick casted shadows and the addled bodies they were for all intents and purposes invisible. Barely registered upon their mind; he was not the target for the night and therefore of little, current importance. The smith huddled into their coat, wincing at a brief unpleasant chill that travelled on the wind. Their sides complained to that. All of it was stupid, the mind flickering back and forth through the possibilities. What was the best option, if there was any?
Liberator gave a cold press against the base of their spine.
The waiting game was a torturous one. But they were a patient creature, and circumstance demanded it so.
A few patter of droplets caused a hiss, the eyes turning upwards as a few more fell. The overcast sky did little to help, sending the normally brighter heavens into a thick, oppressive darkness. A few more patters, Gale dipped beneath the small overhand of the stands, in among the supports for shelter. The eyes did not move from their target, the brute of a man who was currently heckling the brawlers below. Clearly enthused with the fight, he paid no attention to the complaints of the one beneath when he slopped his drink on them. When the offended rose, itching for a fight it took all but a single firm shove to send them toppling down the stands to the bottom. They disappeared beneath a mass of bodies after that.
Drinking continued for the brute easing back down into his seat and continuing his viewing.
Finding another cigarette, the smith fumbled on the matches and lit the end. A grimace as the bruised features were illuminated in the flame, the burst of heat stinging. Teeth dug in to hold it in place, wincing as they awkwardly inhaled the smoke. A snorting, gurgling noise rumbled from their throat, unpleasant globules gathering at the back. The cigarette was moved away, a hacking spit of mucus and some horrid copper after taste. The bridge of her nose burned uncomfortably, brow tensing as they attempted to resist the urge to frown. Doing so often provided even more discomfort.
Tobacco and nicotine filling their system, the smith watched the scuffle on the stand begin once again. Though this time with more notable violence. A smash of a bottle over the head, the bald tattooed man sent the offended on their way with the chorus of jeering. Others leapt on, beating away the thoroughly doused and cut off into the darkness away into the night. He was clearly not alone, or at least associated a bunch of blood loving hooligans. The smith lurked, staying out the way while they attempted to smoke their cigarette. Through the haze the brute moved, standing as he swaggered down the stands. The latest bout had ended, a few angry shouts breaking out from other onlookers where they had lost their money.
Head tilting, the orbs peered at him through the gap in the stands, they watched him trace around the edge of the ring. He shoved past; looping around the front of the stand Gale was ducked under. The smith moved, slinking beneath the boards above, gingerly treading between the stilts that held it in place. They became more aware then of the squelching mud beneath, the slopped mix from various liquids – they did not want to think too hard on what they were exactly. Onwards, they stole glances through the gaps, checking his position as he came to the end of the stand.
The smith froze in place, body stooped over, the glowing end of their cigarette providing the only illumination. He marched on past the side of the stand, lumbering form missing them entirely. There were less people the way he was going, the whistled tune still inaudible against the background din of voices. Gale squirmed out of the gap, feeling the faint pressure of cold rain dripping into their hair and slowly down the collar of their coat. He continued onwards, towards the back of the stands and out of sight.
Gale pursued. Cautious at first but eager to keep him in sight. It grew darker, eyes fewer, the whistling continued of some old folk song. The particular scent of urine caught Gale first, and peering around the corner showed the swaying shape facing a wall in the attached alleyway. The eyes flickered, noting that no one else was seemingly present. It was the best opportunity currently given, there was no assurance there would be another one. The brute literally had his pants down.
Lungs rebelled as the smith darted across the gap. Shoulder barged into the man, full weight thrown into him in an attempt to throw him off balance. He staggered, briefly, follow cut short while his feet slammed into the ground. Gale swung a fist, a broad one that strained against their torso. It slapped against the flesh of the abdomen, force causing the knuckles to ache. The most received from the tattooed man was an annoyed grunt, “You done?”
Gale was not given a chance to answer. The broad hand came over, firmly grasping them by the front. Dragged off their feet, shoulders were slammed into the wall. Their own hands raised instinctively, attempting to grasp upon the fingers as they squeezed in upon the throat. The burning sensation travelled down, the sides aggravated as feet wildly swung to find purchase on the floor – and did not find it. The tattooed man sighed, idly adjusting himself with the other hand, “Why am I not surprised it’s you?”
The air flow began to grow less, tightening and making it harder to breathe. A painful pressure that continued to grow, a low buzzing beginning to settle in. He sighed, tone clearly annoyed as he continued to press. The other hand pinched onto the jaw, “I’m guessing you didn’t learn from the other day not to cross us and the gent.”
Fingers forcibly turned it to the side. In the meanwhile the lungs began to grow tighter, air supply cut off by the choking. The hand flailed out at him now, struggling to claw at his arm. She saw the frown, the browless scowl studying her with annoyance. He was hardly trying, “See, I got no problem hitting people. Or having people wind up in a gutter with their innards out to the world. Even if they are a lady.” The smith gave an in audible rasp at him, face turning red as the mind panicked. The hot breath in their face as he leaned in close, “Cause shits like you really piss me off, and should get what’s coming to them. And any other time-”
The words drifted away, lips moving but mute to their ears.
“-I would. But our good Gentleman wants you alive.”
Gale’s head hit the ground before they even registered they were tossed aside. Temple slammed against it, pain numbing as they laid there down in the muck. Pressure still clung around, lungs fighting for air as the world turned above them. Blood rushed to the head, dizzying as bearings were lost. The heavy weight of the boot landed on their chest, the tattooed man leaning over, lips moving silently in their vision, “But didn’t say you had to be intact. So, shall we have some fun, girl?”