A Vision of Defeat
Hal instructed Pitt to drag Imp to a more secluded setting, an alley nearby. Pitt was more than willing to answer our questions. He told us where the stash was located, and, after assuring us that he would not speak a word of what happened, we sent him on his way.
Hal and I made our way to the door of the stash.
I closed my eyes.
With a powerful kick, I smashed the door from its hinges. The smell of garbage assaulted my senses.
Inside was a powerful man wielding a sledgehammer and a shield. Next to him was a wiry man holding a dagger.
I opened the gate of battle, strode into the room, and lashed out at the larger man, missing. The wiry man stabbed me between the ribs. A huge, disgusting man came around the corner, and threw a vial of acid at my feet, splashing me with burning pain. The man with the sledgehammer raised it above his head with both hands, and smashed it into my skull.
Everything went dark.
I opened my eyes.
Turning to Hal, I spoke softly, “Let’s not charge into this room.”
I raised my foot and kicked against the door, not hard enough to break it, but hard enough to let our presence be known. Hal grabbed me, and we ran around the corner.
A shout drifted to our ears as we ran, “What the fuck?”
The larger man from my vision appeared in the hallway, I ran at him, opening the gate of battle.
Hopefully, this was not indicative of things to come.
We traded blows. From inside hurtled a vial of acid, it smashed into my chest, blinding me.
Still not good.
I backed away, flinging the acid from my eyes. The larger man ran inside, striking a defensive pose next to the disgusting man.
Taking a deep breath, I stepped in front of the doorway and began the Spinning Leopard Maneuver I had learned at the Order. Gracefully, with perfect balance, I made my way through the room. First I struck the wiry man, then I made my way to the slob. Striking him, I followed though with a blow to the larger man. With the larger man shaky, I delivered another, felling blow to him. As gracefully as I had entered, I made my way to the doorway where I had begun.
The slovenly man used his filth to his advantage, waves of stink rolled off him, and his filthy claws were encrusted with slow death.
Finally, he and his cohort fell to the ground.
We bound the three, closed the door, and inspected the room. Around the corner, we found the stash of drugs and quickly collected it.
From the other room, I heard a soft click and the sound of the door opening.
I made my way around the corner and came face to face with what could only be described as a ninja.
He lashed out at me, as I retaliated I shouted, “Whose side are you on?” But got no response.
Three other ninjas appeared behind him. He threw poisonous darts at Hal and myself, but thankfully they missed, embedding themselves in the wall behind us.
With three of them in front of me, and one to my side, I struck out at them all with the fury of Five Storms.
I struck all four, and the three henchman dropped to the ground.
The ninja took a step back, as if to flee, but attacked. We traded blows, and he fell.
We went to bind those four, and meant to question their leader. As Hal turned their leader over, he found him dead, poison clenched between his teeth. We threw his corpse onto a filthy bed, and slapped one of the ninjas awake.
“Who do you work for, whose stash is this?”
“Pafwah. It’s Pafwah’s stash.”
“Who told you we would be here?”
“No one, we just showed up and you were here.”
“That man over there, on the bed, is that Miro?”
A pause, followed by an unconvincing, “…no.”
“Do you know where the other stash is?”
Another pause, followed by another unconvincing, “…no.”
“Tell us where the other stash is!”
He told us where it was.
I turned to Hal, “I’m nearly dead, we can’t hit the other stash tonight. No one here can tell anyone what they know.”
The man’s eyes went wide just before Hal knocked him unconscious.
He turned to me and said, “I don’t like telling people who’ve been helpful that we’re going to kill them anyway.”
I replied, “There’s no way we can hit that stash tonight. If we want any chance of it still being there tomorrow, no one here can tell them we know where it is. We don’t have to kill them, but we can’t let them talk.”
A simple plan for a hard situation. My bag was full of poppytar, which would, hopefully, when swallowed, allow them all a few days of well-earned rest.
Hal and I made our way back to his room, where we got our own well-earned rest, but with an early morning ahead of us.
The next morning we made our way to the last stash, it was located one level up from where the dealing was taking place. When we crossed the bridge to Pafwah’s territory, a feeling of unease overtook us. The streets were near deserted. Looking down to the level below, we could see the dealers plying their trade, but is seemed more like an act than an honest effort. We made our way to the tier above, to gauge the feeling there. Less oppressive, but none of the normal hustle and bustle you might expect. We spotted a group of five men, trying to disassociate themselves from each other, but moving with a common goal. We followed them from a distance.
They broke off from each other, and we followed the one who looked the most like a leader.
We followed him to the door of Nibbler’s stash. He reached under the folds of his cloak, and brought out a bottle of spirits with a cloth stuffed in the mouth. Quickly he lit it.
I tensed, ready to rush at him, to knock it from his hand or throw my arms around him, pinning his arms to his sides. With no hesitation he drew his arm back and threw it against the door. Flames spread everywhere in an instant.
I lowered my head in defeat, sighed, turned to Hal and said, “I hate this fucking town.”