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04 August 2006 @ 05:54 pm
space opera part three  
Another scene from the sci-fi story. This is the third post on this tale...make sure to read the other two first.

The cobbles were cold and wet beneath her cheek, trash and mud clinging to her skin as she struggled to push herself up. Her ribs ached from the first kick, and her breath came in shallow gasps. Probably nothing broken, but it hurt all the same.

One of the toughs laughed as her right hand slipped on the slick stones, and she fell back to the ground with an audible thump. Before she could collect herself, another sharp kick to her side left her crying out in pain. Adopting the fetal position and throwing her arms over her head, she tried to catch her breath and prepare for another strike.

"Pardon me. Do either of you have a light?"

She hesitantly uncurled, peering towards the voice. The young man who'd sat next to her stood just outside the pub's back door, holding a cigarette loosely between his fingers. He strolled towards them, grimacing as he sidestepped moist piles of refuse.

"Hold it right there, kid," growled the bald man.

He didn't stop moving. "Relax, shaimann, I'm on your side. I just need a light."

"I got one," said the other tough, patting the pockets of his oiled rainslicker. "Here, shaimann." He held out a small tin of matches.

"Thanks." He slipped the cigarette behind one ear and reached out to accept the tin. Then, with no warning at all, he instead grabbed the man's hand and jerked him off balance, swinging the tough around to collide face-first with a grimy brick wall.

The bald thug shouted in angry surprise, hand going for his pistol. But the young man didn't stop after slamming the first tough, and his momentum carried him full circle to face the bald man once more. By the time his spin was complete, the young man had unsheathed a sword from the scabbard hanging beneath his greatcoat, and it's point was biting lightly at the bald's veiny neck.

"Don't touch that," he said calmly, nodding towards the thug's holster, and the man let his hand fall back to his side.

"I thought you were one of us!" the bald man protested with a furious scowl. "You used language of the brethren!"

"Anyone who uses a word like brethren is nothing but a wannabe, riding on the coattails of an actual cause. Try spending less time making up secret codewords and more time taking action." The young man casually smashed the pommel of his sword against the thug's temple, stepping back when he crumpled forward into unconsciousness.

The young man resheathed his sword and offered her a hand up. She took it gratefully, eyes round as she stared at the fallen men. "Thank you," she breathed, and willed her heartrate to slow its painful pace.

"Whatever," he replied with a shrug, removing the cigarette from behind his ear and slipping it back into a battered waxpaper pouch. "Now get out of here before you get into more trouble. That end of the alley will take you back to a main thouroughfare."

"Yes, yes, thank you," she said again, wiping her dirty face on an equally dirty sleeve. He turned away, walking back towards the pub. He was not altogether stable, she noticed now -- his steps swayed ever so slightly, and she wondered how much he'd had to drink. "Wait!" she called. "What's your name?"

He paused. "Percy," he answered at last, and kept walking.

She waited for the obvious question, but when it didn't come she added, "Don't you want to know mine?"

"No." He disappeared back into the smoky pub.

Pulling her leather jacket closer to ward of the alley's wet chill, she stepped carefully around her unconscious tormentors and hurried out of the sidestreet, tired, aching, and feeling a grand idiot. Her ribs moaned piteously at their maltreatment, her throat was raw and sore from crying for help, and her right leg throbbed painfully from the glass shards still lurking beneath her skin.

Some great learning adventure this had been...sometimes her foolishness knew no bounds. Martinelle was bound to be curious about the numerous cuts and bruises she'd managed to acquire, and she could still only hope that no one had noticed her absence already. Maybe next time she'd actually listen to that voice in the back of her mind, the one that always shouted, "This is a terrible idea!"

Well, no, probably not.

Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Franz Ferdinand -- This Fire
Jack Tradesdreams4ever25 on August 7th, 2006 02:11 am (UTC)
I loved Percy's perspective and the way it flipped through the girls' viewpoint. You really saved his shmuckish character and turned him into a real somebody! w00t! Well, he's still an 'ass' but he's a loveable ass.

Three chapters!! omg!! you're chugging right along with this opera!

keep it a'coming!