|Battle Report for Bedlam Boys|
|3/24/2008||CA - 5: The Exchange||Draw|
|The bar area of the Den of Zen was full of the usual bustle, as various Uptown denizens went about their shady business. In one corner, a space had been cleared and two men engaged in the traditional sport of health known as dagger throwing. The bloated corpse of a singularly unsavory-looking giant rat had been pinned to the wall as a makeshift target. |
The first competitor, a burly ore miner who bore the distinctive facial tattoos of the Shokkand region, had thrown his three dirks, and managed to graze the corpse with his final throw. Pleased with himself, he retrieved the daggers and passed them to his opponent, the flamboyant gang leader known simply as Lucky, who was gazing thoughtfully into the distance, his attention clearly elsewhere. Without looking, the ganger threw the dirks in quick succession, and the miner gazed in astonishment as all three hit the rat in the centre of its decaying chest.
"Another round!" demanded the miner, plucking the knives from the wall once more, "Double or quits!" He threw the daggers again, with anger, and they stuck in the wall in the vague vicinity of the rat.
"We weren't betting” said Lucky.
“Triple then!" shouted the miner. Lucky shrugged.
"Can't pass those odds up" he said, as the man passed him the knives. This time, he threw the first dagger over his shoulder, and it stuck squarely in the rat's head, which still bore the expression of surprise he supposed had accompanied its final moments. The second dagger followed shortly afterwards and, to the astonishment of the burly miner, stuck quivering in the handle of the first. Just as the third dirk was about to join its fellows, the door to the bar crashed open, and the solid figure of Malenko entered the room.
“Boss!" he cried "Quick! Those sumpsuckers we tangled with yesterday have got Hexley an’ Rudo!"
The final dagger left Lucky's hand at an unexpected angle and ricocheted off an antique metal shield hung on the wall, before caroming off the spittoon, knocking a glass of wildsnake out of an unsuspecting drinker's hand and finally burying itself in the rat on the wall, much to the chagrin of the thickset miner.
"I'll buy their asses back and kill them myself!" swore the leader, as he followed his ganger from the bar.
The Meeting Place was a desolate spot atop an abandoned water tower, where meetings and exchanges between Uptown gangs traditionally took place. Lucky stood in the centre of the tower, flanked by the dependable Malenko and the bloodthirsty Smike. Further back, in the shadows, lurked Middenmouth, his thin fingers caressing his trusty lasgun. Opposite them stood 'Lucky' Montoya, youthful leader of The Bedlam Boys, accompanied by members of that very gang, who had driven the Yahoos from an archeotech dome just the day before, and the shackled forms of Hexley and Rudo Loco, their prisoners.
The two gangs stared at each other, the tension palpable. Eventually, Lucky broke the silence."Well met!" he called.
"You bring the money?" came the reply from his opposite number. Lucky nodded, once, and Malenko stepped forward, holding up a credit stick.
Prodded by a Bedlam Boy, the two captives shuffled gradually forwards, until, they were halfway between the two gangs. As they reached that point, Malenko threw the credstick to a Bedlam Boy, who glanced over it, then nodded to his leader.
"Now then," called Lucky as the captives reached the assembled Yahoos, "I have a proposal for you, ‘Lucky’ Montoya"
"You’re not in a position to propose anything" came the curt reply.
"I propose an alliance" he continued, unabashed, "a mutually beneficial arrangement." This time, another Bedlam Boy stepped forward to answer him. The rangy ganger tugged the hood of his cloak down to reveal his craggy features.
"No" came his terse reply.
"Jimi Bone." said Lucky "I suggest you stay out of this. You made the wrong desicion 15 years ago. I'd hate for you to do it again here and now." The veteran ganger angrily fingered his lasgun, but Montoya held up a hand, stopping him from drawing the much-used weapon.
She turned her dark eyes on Lucky."You scavving talk too much." she said.
He grinned."A time, then, for action" he said, and, moving with almost preternatural speed, he hurled himself bodily at the young Orlock leader. She drew her laspistol, but the normally reliable weapon failed to fire, and simply let off a puff of smoke and a disappointing 'pft' sound. Before anyone else could react, Lucky grabbed her firmly around her waist, and hurled them both from the edge of the tower! Shocked gangers from both gangs raced to the edge and looked over, but there was nothing to be seen in the gloom below.
As they plummeted over the edge, 'Lucky' Montoya berated her attacker."You're scavving crazy!" she snarled.
Just then, the vanes of Lucky's gravchute deployed, spreading his leather coat like a set of wings. Their descent slowed, and they landed gently on the dome floor. Montoya angrily pulled herself away, and drew her powersword. She took a vicious swing with the weapon, and Lucky parried, catching the crackling blade on the quillions of his own sword. He held up a hand.
"Listen to me, 'Lucky' Montoya" he said, suddenly sounding serious, "You've impressed me, and that doesn't happen often. I propose an alliance. We'll look after your interests in Bedlam Town while you're gone. Keep this an Orlock town."
"Why should I trust you?" she said, her eyes narrowing.
"Because we are the same, you and me!" he exclaimed theatrically. He gestured at the malfunctioning laspistol she still held "Different to the others. Lucky. I can help you find out the truth about yourself, if that's what you want. Here. A gesture of friendship."
He tossed a small bag, which landed at her feet. Slowly, she holstered her laspistol, and the two lowered their swords, although neither felt sufficiently confident to stow their weapon. Lucky stepped a little closer.
"An alliance, then." he said. "Let us take care of your affairs in Bedlam Town, and let me take care of your… personal affairs." Bowing, he took her hand and pressed his lips to it. For a moment, they stood there, swords drawn, hand in hand. Then, there came a clattering of booted feet on the stars that ringed the tower, and the muffled shouts of approaching gangers.
"Time to go" Lucky abruptly declared. He dropped her hand, and dashed off into the darkness."Think about it!" he called "I'll be in contact!" As Lucky vanished into the gloom, Jimi Bone led the Bedlam Boys to the foot of tower. He raised his lasgun to his shoulder and took aim in the direction of the fleeing leader.
"I'll nail him this time" the veteran growled.
"Leave it." said Montoya "We've got what we came for."
Bone grunted, and reluctantly lowered his gun.
"We've got what we came for.'" she repeated, and she bent to scoop up the bag at her feet.