Author Topic: Live Bait  (Read 756 times)

Description: A Thomas Tale

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Offline Lord Palatine

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Live Bait
« on: March 09, 2015, 02:39:56 AM »
 This was written in one sitting, get the story down and post it, first draft and no endless editing   

She was bloody and bleeding when she was tossed on the floor in the center of the circle. She looked around her, one eye was swollen shot and the white of the other was red with blood, between her skewed vision and dizziness she counted between twelve and twenty of them. Not good odds, but she smiled anyway.
"All of you for one skinny girl, I think I'm blushing," she said through broken teeth and swollen lips. "My self-esteem will be unbearable."
"You stole from me, little girl," a man growled as he kicked her in the ribs. He smiled to hear her cry out and see her spit blood.
"That doesn't sound like me," she gasped weakly. "I normally have such good manners. Who are you again?"
"Cavril Mulrach," he reached down and grabbed her hair and turned her to face him.
"Not much to look at, are you?" She coughed. "And your breath would warp steel."
"What is your name and who do you work for?" He ignored her jibe.
"Annika Blade," She smiled. "Pleased to meet you. Can a girl get a drink here?"
Mulrach scowled. "I'll piss in your mouth later."
"Tease," She murmured.
"Blade?" One of the men asked. "Are you related to Amrick?"
She smiled again, and it wasn't pleasant. "Daughter of one and sister to the other," she replied and coughed a bit more blood.
"There's two of them?" Another asked.
"The father and son both work for Thomas," a third contributed. "They're both bastards, but we don't want them coming for us."
"They are two men," Mulrach growled. "Men die as easy as this little slut will."
"Slut?" Annika coughed. "Did I sleep through the festivities? Or are you too small to notice?"
Mulrach grumbled something unintelligible and reared his foot back to kick, but was distracted by noises from outside.
"I could kill you for this, Thomas," Amrick Blade II said fiercely as they walked toward the door.
"It wasn't his idea," his father chided. "He found out when I did that she pulled this stunt."
"I'm going to heal her, and then I'm going to blister her arse," Thomas puffed furiously on the cigar clenched in his teeth.
"Four guards," Amrick observed.
"Mine," Amrick II said in a flat tone.
"Don't be greedy, you each take a side and get them out of the way and then my key opens the door."
"He's a damned big key," Amrick observed.
"I'm in a hurry," Thomas replied darkly.
Two of the men stepped forward to challenge them, one tool a blade through the throat and the second fell to a flurry of cuts before they moved to the second two. Thomas waved without looking back and was passed by a huge shape that hit the door at full speed before he and the door disappeared into the building. Thomas stepped over the bodies outside as Wolverine Bragg rose to his feet. His bloodlines could be charitably be called mixed, he was roughly a quarter each of ogre, dwarf, aldor and camden. He was built like a wall with legs and what he lacked in patience he made up for in loyalty. He rose with an oversized knuckleduster in each hand and followed Thomas and left father and son to catch up.
The first to come at them swung a wicked-looking mace, Thomas reached out and caught his arm and twisted briskly and created four hew joints, each bending a different direction. The scream was the highest-pitch that any of them had ever heard coming from a man, it ended in a sick gurgle as the flat of Thomas' hand crushed his throat.
"You really are mad," Wolverine noted as he caught a blade on his left-hand knife and the brass knuckles of the right obliterated a fact. The Amricks fanned out to either side and added to the death rolls for this little adventure.
"Door," Thomas growled. Wolverine grunted acknowledgement and his tree trunk of a leg drove his foot into the seam between the double doors and they flew out of the way and Thomas stepped through. Several men looked at him and a gap appeared among them and Thomas strode forward and looked down at the young lady he'd promised to protect when she was still an infant. "Mulrach, there are no words in any language to describe just how much trouble you landed in this time."
"The little whore stole from..." His words were cut off by Thomas' hand squeezing his throat. Mulrach's eyes went wide and his hands desperately tried to pull away Thomas', but there was nothing that could accomplish that. He twisted the thief lord to his knees and then flat on his back.
Amrick the second stepped through the gap after Thomas and the two men closest to either side of his fell, hands desperately clutching at the bloody ruins of their throats. "Everyone here dies," he said coldly. Wolverine shrugged and drive a blade up through a man's chin as Amrick the elder snap-kicked a man to the chin, the man's head bent backward an impossible amount as he fell dead.
Thomas stared into the eyes of Cavril Mulrach. "Leave one of them alive," Thomas said calmly. "Pick one and bring him here to watch."
Wolverine picked one man with two broken legs and held him up where he could see what was about to happen. "Understand," Thomas said in a chillingly calm voice. "I am the patron of many people in this city, and throughout the world. I gave my word to see to their well-being and protection, and it is something that I take with deadly seriousness. You have placed me in a situation where I am forced to mend what you have broken and to destroy those responsible. There are things worse than war, even worse than death. You won't live long enough to believe that."
Mulrach's spine arched and his body convulsed as, one-by-one, Annika's injuries faded from her body and appeared on Mulrach. His mouth opened in a scream as his body absorbed the pay he'd ordered inflicted on another, soon he could do no more than moan softly when he was in the state that Thomas had found Annika. "I've given you the pain you gave her, but that isn't enough, you will never cause another moment of pain to anyone." And Thomas stared into Mulrach's eyes as his body shriveled into a husk.
Thomas looked over to see Amrick and his son help Annika to her feet, he rose to look the injured witness in the eyes, his own were blazing blue fire. "No more," he reached into his pocket and drew out a lit cigar. "I hope you paid attention, because he won't be the last one to feel that. The families are broken, from this moment I kill any of you bastards I come across, on sight. Am I making myself completely clear to you?"
The man nodded, unable to speak.
"Throw that shit in the street," he said to Wolverine and turned to the elder Amrick. "They get no peace, no parlay, no refuge. They run or they die."
"I'll see to it," Amrick nodded.
"And you," Thomas turned to Annika. "What were you thinking? You know better than this. You're certainly too damned clever to play helpless damsel and let them beat seven bells out of you." He puffed furiously. "You used me. You used us all."
"Live bait," she replied. "Mulrach and his kind had to be stopped, you were content to leave it to the Palatine and the militia except in those cases where they intruded upon your interests or hurt someone under your protection. So, I gave them somebody under your protection so you would end it."
A chair slid across the room and Thomas sat as it reached him and the smoke around him grew thicker. "You abused my trust and my loyalty," he said sternly. "I do not let anyone play me like a puppet, even if I am close to the puppeteer. You understand that I am...displeased?"
"I knew that I was taking a risk of losing your affections," she replied, looking down. "I forced you to use those powers that you constrain, I know that you think that if you give into the temptation of using them that you could become a monster. I have greater faith in your self-control, and too many have been hurt to not do all that I could to put it to an end."
He sighed and puffed his cigar. "They say I'm a bastard, but you've played the bastard like a game piece. You realize there will be a reckoning, even from you?"
She nodded.
He sighed and pulled her over his knees and brought his hand down in a swat that sounded like a whip cracking, and it was the first of many. The younger Amrick reached out to stop him, but his father held him back. "Are you going to let...?"
"If he didn't do it, I was going to," his father replied. "And he warned us he was going to do it, you know better than to think those were idle words. Regardless of her reasons, she broke his trust," he paused and winced as a particularly shrill cry from his daughter. "There has to be a reckoning for that. He won't hurt her. Permanently at least. She won't sit for some time though and she'll reflect upon that."
"It took nerve," Amrick the younger replied and cringed at another shriek and reflexively turned to her.
"You've had your thrashings too boy, you know she'll live through this one and seeing her like that hurt him pretty badly. Remember that, he's a bastard because he cares more than he lets on. Even for live bait."


Untitled Document

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