From Humble Beginnings

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Rey'th
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From Humble Beginnings

Post by Rey'th » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:10 pm

Rain beat a steady tattoo on the roof of the old trailer, the aluminium structure emphasising the sound.
It ran in little rivers down the windows and made little pinking noises as it splashed into a large pan on the drainer where it leaked in through a broken skylight.
Clothes were strewn about, hanging from every conceivable hook and corner, piled in groups on chairs and work surfaces. Some clean, some not. Adding to this flotsam were empty food cartons from the soy-café two blocks down.
In a cage on a low table, a small brown mouse had embarked on the endless journey around the inside of a wheel. It undertook the task in small bursts of speed, halting for just a few seconds before repeating.
Mounted high on one wall, a trid-screen flicked through adverts on an unending loop, offering goods and services from sanitary products to luxury items to full cybernetic augmentations. The trid wasn’t on because the trailer’s occupant was on the lookout for the latest fashion accessory, or an on-trend eating establishment, or a cream to ease vaginal soreness. It was just background noise, company on the long wet afternoon and into the darkening evening.
Sitting with combat-booted feet up on a coffee table was a young woman in her early twenties, long blond hair tied loosely upon her head. Other than the boots she wore what she had worn to bed the previous evening; a stained white vest and red panties and nothing more.
Glancing up from the old leather-bound book she was reading she checked that the pan wasn’t overflowing. The small movement as she craned her neck for a better view brought her attention to her aching legs. She’d been sitting like this reading for ages she realised. Checking the clock on her microwave display she realised that ages was actually seven hours. It was six in the evening already.
Wincing in pain she pulled her stiff legs off the table and kicked off the heavy boots she’d put on this morning when she’d taken out a bag of garbage.
Her face screwed up and she froze, waiting for the pins ans needles to subside. Now she was suddenly aware of two things; she was hungry but more importantly dying for a pee!

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Rey'th » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:48 am

An hour later and the rain still drummed relentlessly on the aluminium roof.
The young woman was dressed, she liked leather, or at least as good an imitation of leather as she could get. Long leather pants, black of course, with a tight red cropped vest-top that showed her flat stomach. She had a good body, she liked to go to the gym and liked to wear clothes that that looked good on her and showed it off a little. She didn’t go for the level of exposure that a lot of the girls in the district did. Some of the younger gang girls or gang wannabees seemed to parade themselves around in next to nothing, hoping to catch someone’s eye or make an impression or even shock someone. Like, who would be shocked by a semi naked woman walking down the street in 2070 anyway?
No, she liked people to know she was no “munter”. Just a little midriff was plenty for every day exposure. Leave the more provocative, revealing clothing for a Friday night in the clubs. Not that she did that much either, really. Her friends would head down there looking for a good time, someone to spend the night (or if they were really lucky/unlucky depending on your point f view, the rest of their lives) with. She couldn’t be bothered with all that, study took up most of her time.
Over her vest top she wore a short soft leather hooded jacket, it left that little bit of tummy flesh visible.
The big boots were once again on her feet and as normal the laces remained undone.

She grabbed the stained white vest and shoved it on a pile of clothes that at some point in the next few days would find its way to a laundry.
Next she picked up the book she had been reading and shoved it into her shoulder bag.
Putting on a long faux-leather coat that reached her knees, styled like the old biker jackets from a century ago, with straps and buckles up the arms. A long black and red scarf was tucked behind the large collar and lapels. It was so long that each pointed end reached down to the tops of her boots.

Her hair was down now, and she pulled her hood up over her head before grabbing some keys from a hook and opening the door to the deluge outside.

There were four of them outside; a woman who was stepping up to bang on her door, and three men although in the blonde woman’s opinion two of them could barely claim to be old enough to get served in a bar, a legitimate one at least.
The woman, Darla Dern, was a tall muscular girl with one half of her straight black hair down to her shoulder, the other half shaved real close. Two golden datajacks glinted in the rain on the shorn side of her head.
The older man, everyone called him Mr Fisck, sported the lower jaw tusks and vaguely sickly green tinge to his skin common to those folks collectively (and derisively) known as gobliniods. This one was an orc.
He wore a long coat but the left sleeve had been removed to accommodate a heavy, bulky mechanical arm. It was a clunky ugly piece of cyberware that lacked any of the finesse of the expensive chrome of life-like limbs that were widely available. Mr Fisck wore it to make a statement.
It was rumoured that the large mechanical hand could crush those more aesthetic counterparts.
The man’s head was a close cropped red which contrasted with his green-yellow complexion.
The four of them stared up at the young woman who remained motionless, poised in the doorway to the trailer.
Her shoulders fell and she sighed loudly, so that they would hear it over the rain.
“Hello, Reyth,” Darla said, not able to hide a bitter undertone to her voice.
The blonde woman, Reyth, said nothing, just remained standing in the doorway looking expectantly at the small crowd.
They didn’t move.
Reyth huffed. “What do you want, Darla?” she made the name sound like it was something derogatory. Darla openly disliked Reyth and there was always tension between the them.
For her part Reyth wasn’t too bothered. She had no reason, no basis for any dislike of the woman other than Darla’s own dislike of her. Despite the conflict causing disharmony, Reyth had found that she couldn’t be bothered to get to the root of it. She couldn’t even be bothered to ask.
Darla clenched her fists and stepped towards Reyth.
Mr Fisck quickly grabbed her wrist and stayed her advance.
One of the younger men spoke from behind Fisck. He had close cropped hair coloured a sky blue. Other than that, Reyth observed, there was nothing else noteworthy about the man.
He and his thus far silent colleague were newcomers to the local gang. They sported various scarves, bandanas and trinkets of red and black, the gang colours.
“Are you just going to leave us out here in the rain?”
Reyth stepped out, pulling her door closed.
“Yes,” she said flatly.
“The fuck?” Blue growled.
Reyth shrugged her bag onto her shoulder and moved to push past Fisck.
His huge mechanincal hand clamped around her forearm.
“You need to come with us.”
Reyth tried to pull free but was unable to.
“I’ve got work,” she said.
Darle laughed, more a scoff. “Not tonight, Barbie!”
“Yes, tonight,” Reyth insisted.
Fisck shook his head slowly and Reyth gritted her teeth in annoyance.
“Where is it you want me to go?” she asked with a resigned sigh.
“Wherever we damned well tell you to go, that’s where,” Blue stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
The wind picked up and hammered the rain into them harder.
Fisck turned and dragged Reyth towards an old Ford Amerivan parked out on the street.
The door was shoved open and she was shoved in.
Blue got in beside her. He looked smug.
Darla jumped in the driver’s seat, jacked in and the van started up.
She drove just two blocks, then turned into a fenced parking lot in front of a run-down shopping mall.
In a few old oil drums, scattered about the darkness, fires burned. Reyth watched flames dancing about casting moving shadows over old vehicles parked there.
One side of the parking lot was filled with huge steel cargo containers from various now non-existent companies from the early part of the century and earlier.
They were arranged about in a haphazard way, sometimes stacked three high, as though some giant had emptied a sack full out onto the floor.
In the spaces between them, makeshift panels formed more rooms or passageways so that the whole lot was a classic rabbit-warren of manmade chambers and tunnels.
Darla pulled up to one of the containers and stopped the old van with a jerk.
“Idiot!” Mr Fisck mumbled in a friendly tone.
“So, what am I supposed to be doing here?” Reyth asked, getting annoyed.
“What the fuck’s your problem with listening, bitch?” Blue said. “We told you already, you do whatever Mr Fisck tells you to.”
Reyth pulled her hood back slightly so she could look directly at the young man.
“What’ my problem? Are you for real?” she turned to look at Darla and Ficsk. “Where’d you get this guy from?”
“Shut up and get out,” Fisck barked.

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Rey'th » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:36 pm

The door to the nearest container was open. A man with a HK227 rifle slung casually over his shoulder was leaning against the bulkhead just inside the door. He wore the gang colours, mostly black with red neon piping.
He watched the group alight from the van and dash through the rain towards him. He recognised them all, stood out of their way as they entered.
Reyth took her time, strolled slowly through the dark downpour, her objection to being here displayed on her apathetic movements.
Blue, who seemed to have taken it upon himself to be some sort of warden, keeping a close watch on her followed behind.
He shoved her hard, making her stumble the last few feet to the container.
The sentry caught her, made eye contact with the young woman. She gave him a thankful smile. The sentry knitted his brow and glanced at the blue haired youth.
Almost imperceptibly Reyth shook her head at him, her eyes indicating that she was okay.
“You sure?” He whispered.
“He’s a jerk, but yeah,” she whispered back.
Blue stepped up behind her and grabbed her hood, pulling it down and holding onto it like a leash.

One side of the container had a crude doorway cut into it that led to a short passage with a duck-board walkway to another container. That one was well lit and Reyth noticed two other gang members sitting on a sofa, their faces lit by a screen that she couldn’t see. The scent of Soykaf wafted from the opening.
The others were at the far end of the first container boxes.
Darla handed one to Reyth. “Make yourself useful,” she said.
The box was heavy. Her hood pulled across her face as she turned away from Blue.
“Let go of me, you idiot,” she cursed, pulling away from him.
He kept his grip.
“I said,” her voice angry and raised. “Let go!” She hurled the box at him.
He let go.
“What the fuck are you doing, crazy bitch!” Blue yelled.
He lashed out, the back of his hand catching Reyth square in the mouth, splitting her lip and her teeth biting into her tongue.
Her head whipped around and she fell to the floor.

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Rey'th » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:33 pm

Everything stopped within the container. Darla and Mr Fisck glanced from Reyth to Blue and back again.
Damien Mavin, the as of yet silent member of the group saw the concerned expressions of the others and the smirk he'd adopted disappeared.
Oblivious of the sudden silence, Blue towered over the fallen woman.
“Stupid girl. Don't ever throw something at a Shoog.”
“Saunders,” Mr Fisck growled. “Back down.”
Saunders, or Blue as Reyth had christened him glared angrily back at him.
Reyth pushed herself up, pressing her hand to her lip and staring with amusement at the blood. Her mouth was full of the coppery taste. She spat blood onto the floor.

Then her eyes fell on the box, it had split open. Dozens of small packets containing digital chips.
Reyth didn't need to read what was written on the labels to know what was on them, or at least, what sort of thing was on them.
She picked one up and held it accusingly at Darla. “Really? You're wanting me to help you deal in BTL? No fucking way Darla!”
darla stepped closer and shoved the box she was carrying into Reyth's arms.
“Fucking way. Now put this in the van”
“This is bullshit!”
Reyth shoved the box back at Darla. “Load it yourself.”
“Reyth!”
“No, Fisck! This is not what we do.”
Blue stepped up beside her. “Miss Dorn has told you, bitch, so get it done.”
Reyth had had enough of this idiot now. Anger brought up a red mist that she struggled to fight back.
It didn't stop her spitting a mixture of saliva and blood at him.
This time Blue's punch knocked her out.

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Rey'th » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:35 pm

Her eyes opened. She was looking up at a grey black ceiling. A dark wall of steel that had a cold heart and unforgiving nature. It appeared grainy – like it was being viewed on a hundred year old cathode ray television.
There were people standing over her, but they appeared wrong; out of focus with the colour turned down. One appeared as a man-sized grey smudge./2

Her mind caught up. She was seeing from the astral realm. Standing, her body remained on the ground, a shock of colour amongst the muted, grainy colours surrounding it.
The room brightened, glowing a warm yellow.
Reyth turned to see the source.
A body of flame, that cast flickering shadows about the place. Its form held the curves of a female, with the addition of fiery wings. Eyes, black lightless pits, alighted upon the woman and it gave a short bow to its master.
Like the fiery elemental, its master now sported large bat-like wings, her blonde hair now a mass of flame, her reptilian eyes, framed by by scaled ridges on the brows and cheekbones, glowed with an inner energy.
“Good evening, my lady,” the elemental said in a voice like a demoness.
“Hello Reyge,” Reyth smiled.
“Your world self appears worse for wear. Should I punish the perpetrator?”
Reyth laughed. “No, thank you. I'll deal with Blue when the time comes to it.”
She looked down at her physical form. “Am I hurt?”
Fires burned searing bright in the dark pits of Reyge's eyes. A moment later the eyes went dark again.
“No, my lady, you are merely suffering from superficial damage to your essence.”
“Then I shall return and speak to you later.”
Reyge bowed again and the light faded.

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Rey'th » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:49 am

Reyth opened her eyes just as Darla poured a bucket of freezing rain water over her head.
She screamed and coughed and gasped.
“You asshole!” She cursed rolling away from the torrent.
Darla Dorn roared with laughter.
“What the hell is going on here?” A deep resounding voice, like a sergeant major on the parade ground.
The voice's owner was a huge man. Another orc, his dark hair close cropped, a cybereye had replaced his natural right eye. Unlike anyone else within the compound, he wore a suit, although he had allowed himself to remove his tie.
“Fisck?” the big orc inquired.
“A little disagreement is all, boss,” Fisck replied.
“Disagreement?”
“Nothing we can't deal with, Mr Lovejoy,” Blue confirmed.
Fisck glared at the blue haired individual.
Lovejoy, LJ to his those who knew him better, blinked a Blue.
“Who's this?” El-Jay asked.
“Saunders, Mr Lovejoy,” Blue said with the sort of conspiratorial nod that equals share.
“Mickey Saunders' kid. Been with us two months,” Darla said in explanation.
“Made?” LJ asked, referring to the initiation into the ranks of the gang and a deliberate mockery of the mobs “made men”.
“Uh-huh!”
LJ looked directly at Blue.
“You been on a run for the crew before?”
“This is the first one like this, sir,” Blue replied.
The orc looked him up and down quizzically and both Darla and Fisck gave Blue a strange look at the “sir”.
“Okay, Blue,” LJ said.
Blue bridled at the name and Reyth chuckled.
“What's so funny?”
Reyth smiled at LJ. “That's what I was calling him in my head. Bit like little boy Blue.”
The orc said nothing but seemed a little confused by the reference.
Blue on the other hand had something to say. “Shut your mouth, bitch, or you'll get another one.” He raised his fist in demonstration.
“You hit her?” LJ asked.
There was something in the orc's tone that made Blue think that Mr Lovejoy didn't approve.
“Yes.” A tentative answer.
LJ gave Fisck a knowing frown of disapproval. Fisck liked Darla, that was no secret, and Darla knew it. She disliked Reyth, ergo, Fisck would dislike Reyth to gain approval from Darla.
“Why?” LJ's question was directed at Fisck but Blue misunderstood and answered instead.
“Cos she was giving us attitude, and that's disrespectful to the Shoogs. These people need to know that the Sugar Hill Crew rule around here and if we want them to do something then they should do it. And she spat in my face.”
LJ raised an eyebrow at Reyth. She thrust her hands into her pockets and shrugged.
“He's a dick!” she said in explanation.
Blue's chest expanded like a guerilla posturing.
“You so need another slap, girl!” Blue snarled.
“Enouigh!” LJ barked. “We don't have time for this. Blue, get the boxes loaded or you'll be late for the deal.”
“What are we doing with BTL?” Reyth wasn't prepared to let it go.
LJ sighed.
Blue couldn't believe what he was hearing. He reached behind his back and pulled a pistol from behind his waistband. He pointed it at Reyth.
“Mr Lovejoy says we're running BTL, then we're running BTL. Got it?”
Reyth smiled sweetly, stepped up close to Blue and pressed her forehead to the barrel.
“Go on then, fuck knuckle, pull it!”
“Jesus Christ!” LJ siad in a panicked tone. He pushed Blue's hand away and stepped between them, facing Blue.
“Put that away and start loading boxes or i'll have Fisck here see if he can pop your head!”
blue looked like he'd been smacked, but he put the gun away, moved over to the boxes and picked one up.
LJ turned to Darla and Fisck. “You two get your shit together. You're lucky it was me here and not someone else.”
Then he turned to Reyth. “Go get yourself cleaned up.”
“You gonna explain the chips?”
“Do I have to?”
“Yeah, if you want my help.”
his grey eye rolled and he sighed again.
“Whatcha wanna know?”
“Like, what the hell are we doing dealing chips?”
“normally we don't touch the crap. But there's this group that has something we want and this shit was their price.”
he knew what was coming.
“Ryeth, I know how you feel. My father wasted away to nothing on these little bastards. After the plant closed a lot of good folks got hooked on them and it ruined their lives. But just this one time we are going to have to live with getting our hands dirty with this stuff. Your brother thinks this is worth it. That's good enough for me.”
Reyth blinked. Her eyes had momentarily gained a far-away look, but she was focussed again.
“Alright, I'll go with it this time. After this though, the Shoogs don't do BTL, period.”
“Amen to that!” LJ agreed with a nod. “Now clean up. I don't expect trouble, but i'd like you to monitor the situation, give the guys plenty of warning. And cover them if you have to. Normal drill.”
shrugging her bag onto her shoulder Reyth wandered through the containers in search of a bathroom.

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Reynolds » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:09 am

Darla was leaning against the container, a cigarette in hand, blowing smoke out into the night.
Seeing Reyth approach she threw the half-smoked stick to one side, hearing it hiss as it landed in a puddle and started walking for the van.
The side door was open and Reyth climbed in beside Blue.
The man frowned at her. Her face was pristine. No sign that she had been hit no more than thirty minutes ago.
“Oh my God!” he said excitedly. “You guys, I mean we, we have a mage? I didn't know there was a mage in the gang. Or is it one of those spirit guys, you know, a shamen or something? That's awesome.”
beside him, to opposite side to Reyth, Damian Mavin huffed.
“Man, you're an embarrassment,” he said.
“What?”
The van moved off, turning onto the dark street outside the Mall and heading north.
Darla lay back in the driver's seat, comfortable, a cable trailing from each of the jacks in her head.
“C'mon, Mavin, what's that supposed to mean?”
“Okay, well how about the way you are acting now, like a kid. And the way you were waving your dick around earlier, giving Reyth all that attitude.”
“I ain't acting like a kid!”
“No? Coulda fooled me.”
“No, I am not. And this bitch needs attitude. Miss Dorn said to Mr Fisck on the way over that she's not gang material. She'd need telling how things were and where her allegiance should be. So that's what I'm doing.”
“You're such a dumbass. What are you going on about with all this allegiance shit?”
“Duh, dumbass yourself. If she wants to be a Shoog then she's got to prove it.”
“If she wants to be a Shoog? Man you really are an idiot aren't you?”
“Mavin, watch your trap or I'll slap you down like I did little Miss Prospective here.”
All the time Reyth sat back with her eyes closed and a wry smirk on her face. She knew where Mavin was trying to lead Blue, and was kind of grateful, but also couldn't be bothered with all this crap.
“You have no idea who she is, do you?”
“Why don't you explain it?” Blue said indignantly.
“You know the gang history, you jerk. Why don't you tell us about it?”
“I'm no initiate, I don't have to tell you anything.”
“Do it!” Fisck commanded from the front seat.
Darla, who was enjoying the hard time Blue was giving Reyth shot Fisck a disapproving glance, which he ignored.
Blue didn't seem too keen but with a huff and a hateful glance at a smiling Reyth he proceeded.
“Alright. 2048. Glu-Co, Seattle's very own sugar refinery started laying off workers, citing increasing costs of sugar cane and cheaper synthetic alternatives as a reason. Times were already hard and many were laid off without compensation. The area became run down as businesses that were supported by the plant either moved on or more often folded themselves.”
“Eventually the plant went under and everyone else lost their jobs, but the execs all got massive severance payouts. Protests by ex-employees and workers rights activists followed.”
“A small group of local kids decided to make protests of their own, forming a gang that called itself the Sugarhill Six after the street which led to the main gates. And six because there were six of them. They hung out in some of the old plant outbuildings. They grew to the Sugarhill Ten as more joined and after a few years became the Sugarhill Crew. Nowadays we are known as the Shoogs though we don't reside on Sugar Hill or the plant any more.”
the van turned right, the streets were cleaner, brighter, lined with busy shop fronts and restaurants.
“So was that good enough for you? Not that it means anything. I mean, how does that tell me who you think she is?”
“Well, you missed out who the six were.”
“Really?”
Reyth laughed.

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:32 am

“Are you fucking laughing at me?” Blue hissed through clenched teeth.
He was glaring at Reyth.
Reyth smiled, amused at the idiot’s bravado.
She tucked a strand of her hair back inside her hood.
“Oh, don’t take it personally, Blue, I’m not just laughing at you, I’m laughing at this whole fucked-up charade!”
She turned to Mavin, reached over and gently touched his knee.
“It’s alright, you know who I am, so you know I can take care of myself.
Mavin nodded and rolled his eyes.
“Get a room!” Blue sneered, looking to Darla and Fisck for approval of his little quip.
Darla was jacked into the vehicle rig so wasn’t paying attention and Fisck beside her couldn’t be bothered. He too was starting to get fed up with Blue’s attitude.
“That’s enough, Blue,” Fisck grumbled over his shoulder.
But Blue couldn’t stop now. This girl had embarrassed him in from of members of the gang, and a Shoog shouldn’t have to put up with other people’s shit. Not to mention that there was no way he was going to let that name stick. The others were all starting to use it now.
“My name isn’t Blue, it’s….”
“Your name is Blue now,” Fisck interrupted. “It’s been decided.”
Blue looked aghast. “By who? Her? She’s the one started calling me that!”
“Pretty much, yes!” Fisck chuckled.
“No, she don’t get to decide.”
Mavin groaned. “Oh my god, man! You’re acting like a fucking child! Reyth called you Blue, so what? Big deal! The way you’ve been acting tonight she could have called you a lot worse. I mean, you dyed your hair blue, man. What the fuck did you think was going to happen?”
Blue seemed to be getting angrier. Mavin, sitting alongside him on the back seat of the van could feel him tensing up. “What’s up with you, dude? Have you taken something?”
To Mavin, Blue just seemed to have totally lost it.
“I’m not having it!” Blue hissed. “I’m not having this bitch naming me. I should be getting a nickname from someone important in the gang. Someone like Mr Fisck here, or Miss Darla. Getting a nickname from someone on the gang means something, show you’re a part of the Suger Hill Crew family. Being named by this dead-beat nobody who’s too fucking dumb to know her place is an insult. And the Sugar Hill Crew repays insults tenfold, so when this is over and Mr Fisck has finished with your miserable emo ass, I’m going to teach you some fucking manners girl!” He’d redirected his venom Reyth’s way. Maybe if I get me some of the emo ass you’ll learn some respect. I may even pay you, just like I heard your momma gets it.”
Mavin’s head dropped in disbelief and he even heard Fisck suck through his teeth.
“You fuckin what? You threaten to rape me and call may mother a whore?”
“Wasn’t no threat, Bitch. You wanna be in our gang then you gotta know your place. And yeah I called your momma a whore!”
“Stop the van, Darla!”
They were cruising south on the 202, just passing the wasteland that was once the Sammamish River Regional Park.
Darla’s voice came over the van’s speakers. “You want me to stop here? On the freeway?”
“Just stop!” Reyth yelled.
Blue grinned knowing he had struck a nerve. He was surprised when Darla pulled over to the shoulder and stopped.
Reyth threw open the door and got out, wheeling around the front of the van she pulled Blue’s door open, grabbed him and dragged him out of the vehicle.
“What the fuck?” Blue snarled at her drawing his pistol.
From the middle seat Mavin dived for the gun grabbing Blue’s wrist.
With Blue’s lapel bunched in her left hand, Reyth drew back her right, palm open and facing him.
On the plam was a tattoo, a series of runes about two inches square. As she held her hand steady they glowed and electricity crackled and sprked across her hand and wrist.
Blue’s eyes widened in fear.
“You? You’re the mage?”
“Yes, fucking me! You bastard think you can say that shit about my mom and get away with it just cos ‘yooz a shoog’? but you’re right though, shoogs don’t let insults like that go unanswered. So give me one good reason I don’t fry your soul and turn you into a frog right now, mother fucker?”
“I… ch… didn’t….”
“Huh?” She shoved him a little, the lightning flaring on her hand. She could feel Blue shaking, see the genuine fear in his eyes.
Fisck appeared around the side of the van. “Whoa, there Reyth, calm down!”
“Calm down?” Reyth repeated scornfully. “You created this by bringing this idiot on a job with you. Who the fuck swore him into the gang anyway? Please don’t say it was you, Eric?”
Fisck got annoyed at that. “Yes I swore him in. he’s alright really, normally. I mean he does seem a little on edge tonight, like abnormally so, but I choose who I swear in and you don’t get to question it, girl. Wait, what did you just call me?”
“I called you Eric. That is your name, isn’t it? Eric Winstanley the Fourth? What, you think you’d keep that secret hidden? Well tough, now it’s out there. But truth is, I don’t care why you chose to come down here slumming it with us nobodies. That’s your business.”
She noticed Fisck’s fist clench.
“Does your brother know?” Fisck asked quietly.
“Of course.”
“He hasn’t said anything.”
“Of course. You’re one of us just as sure as if you were born here, Fisck, you’ve proved that time and again.”
“Alright,” Fisck said, drawing out the word. “So what happens now? You going to kill Blue or what?”
Reyth shoved Blue back and released her grip, the sparks faded from her hand.
Blue began breathing heavily, like he had been starved of oxygen, or was hyperventilating.
Then the fearful expression turned to anger fuelled by embarrassment.
He wrenched his hand away from Mavin, who had relaxed his grip and pointed the pistol at Reyth’s head.
“Not so big now are you, huh? Think you’re quick enough with that shit to dodge my bullet?”
“Easy there, Blue!” Fisck said holding up a placating hand.
Reyth stepped forward to press her forehead to the barrel. She was pissed at him, so angry that she lost all reasonable thought and was going to goad him into doing it. The fact that she would be dead didn’t really register with her at that moment. But it did with Fisck.
For such a big guy he could move incredibly fast in short bursts. He darted forward, one hand grabbing the gun and yanking it away from Reyth then the his enormous cybernetic balled fist connected with Blue’s jaw.
The boy went down hard.
“About fucking time,” Darla said, her voice her own this time as she leaned out the window watching events unfold with a sadistic grin on her face.
“It was fun and all at the start but getting boring now. Shame though, I’d have liked to see him shoot that snooty cow!”
Reyth flipped her the bird but didn’t otherwise respond.
Darla blew her a kiss and ducked back into the van.
A huge truck roared past, horn blaring in annoyance at the morons standing on the freeway in the dark.
It was as if the sounds of the world had been on mute and now came rushing back along with the realisation of the situation.
“Get that clown in the van,” Darla said over the speakers, “before the cops turn up and we’re all done for.”
“Fine, but I’m out Darla,” Reyth said. “You can let me out once we’re off the freeway.”

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Re: From Humble Beginnings

Post by Keeper » Mon Sep 20, 2021 9:59 am

A minute later they were on their way, silence reigning for the remainder of their journey.

The 202 met the 203 at Fall City, sort of outside the sprawl. This was neutral for the Sugar Hill Crew to meet the Redmond Wolves, a pretentiously named street gang that ran turf on the other side of the barrens.
The city itself was now a series of markets and small manufacturing properties selling and utilising the food and goods coming out of neighbouring Salish-Shidhe lands.
At this time of night, in this weather, the place was like a ghost town.
“Drop me here,” Reyth said as they passed a deserted Amer-Indian outlet.
Darla silently pulled the van over and Reyth got out. So did Fisck.
“Reyth, please.” Fisck said and that last word made Reyth stop. It wasn’t one that she heard from him very often.
“Look, you’re right. I should have cut you some slack from the start.”
“No, you shouldn’t have got me involved in the first place. I told you I didn’t want to be involved anymore.”
“Sorry, but we need you on this, Reyth.”
“So why be such a prick about it? You shove a note through my door telling me to be ready when you come calling? Like what the hell? I’m not here to be your skivvy, nor anyone else’s. If you’d asked me, if you’d explained what the hell you wanted then maybe I’d have come with you willingly.”
“Maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you would have cleared off so we couldn’t find you.”
Reyth shrugged. “Yeah, maybe, but you should have given me that choice, Eric. And why didn’t you rein that moron in?”
“It’s been a long day. Bad call on my behalf.”
He glanced over at the van. They were some distance away, out of earshot.
“Look,” the big guy said, his body language trying to seem less imposing. “I know you and Darla have that hate-hate thing going on and you know, I’m with Darla now so…”
Reyth quirked an eyebrow. “That’s a lame excuse, Eric.”
“Sorry.”
She smiled at him and couldn’t help but smile. He was a big guy, with a huge ugly, threatening looking arm standing there being all humble, getting soaked.
She shrugged, rolling her eyes, letting that rare turn of her mouth remain.
“I should be at work. I gotta go, see you tomorrow.”
“Please Reyth, I’m a man down already and could really use your help on this one. I think the Wolves will have magical back-up.”
Of all the words of power. The incantations, the rituals that she had read about, that was probably the first ‘magic word’ that literally everyone, even the non-magical, were taught.
She remembered her mother using the phrase “What’s the magic word?” all the time.
“Please,” she would reply.
And hey-presto, she would get what she wanted, most of the time.
Fisck had never said please to her in such a sincere way before.
Reyth rolled her eyes again, thrust her hands into her pockets and cast her gaze to the puddles on the street around her.
“Jesus, Fisck,” she grumbled, fishing in her pocket and pulling out her phone.
She was now two hours late for work. She sent a quick message to her friend who would be wondering where she was.
Fisck watched patiently until the horn sounded from the van, Darla getting impatient.
“We’re already late, Reyth. Are you with me?”
Reyth sighed heavily. “Okay, I’ll do it but by Christ you owe me. And get Darla off my back.”
Fisck winced and made a deflated sag of his shoulders.
“Yeah, wish me luck with that one!” he said making Reyth smile.
No one spoke for the rest of the journey.
Reyth watched the street lights flitting passed her, not really focussing on them. Her thoughts were of her brother, of the gang, of her relationship with him and it. Having one meant having the other. That was the catch right there. She wanted the one but not the other, but that didn’t feel right either. The gang had been her family for such a long time. But she’d had her eyes opened to a bigger world and now she wanted to make her own way in it. She’d outgrown the gang and like all children longed for that independence from their family, the chance to spread her wings and take that leap.

She’d tried, of course, yet somehow the gang just pulled her back in.

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