A day to remember.

Started by Luke OMalley, September 16, 2019, 10:08:41 pm

Luke OMalley

There was a simple sort of poetry to combat. When slowed every slip and change of movement was like a dance. There was artistry in the air. As well as blood and missing teeth. It started at the ground, the power of a blow struck true. Started where worn sneaker sole met equally worn wooden flooring. It traveled up through the ball of a pivoting foot, through a calf tight with exertion. It surged up through a hip already rotating as much mass as it could, coursing through abdominal muscles to a shoulder knotted tight with muscle in action. Down an arm extending to a fist that had arched in like a meaty comet from hell itself. The final point of impact was just low of a particularly astonished card sharp's left cheekbone. The fist two knuckles on the right fist of a man they only knew as 'Little John' touched soft cheek before driving it hard into teeth and jaw. Physics happened. Bone gave way. Flesh split. Bright eye catchingly red blood splattered across a green felt table that currently held five cards that declared themselves Aces.

Before the orthodontically challenged cheat had time to fully understand exactly how unconscious the first punch had made him a second blow came ripping up from below, snapping the man's now decidedly mangle jaw up and sending him clear off his feet and toppling over the back of the chair he had hastily exited not a few moments before.

All this took not but three seconds. Enough time that Luke was able to shuffle back from the table and take up a brawler's stance before the now well grounded gambler's friend came at him, the stool he had until recently been sitting on in his hands. Luke ducked the ham fisted blow and stepped into the man's reach and struck him twice in the stomach. Short sharp blows to drive the wind from his lungs. Next he brought this arms up and down, pistoning against the stool wielder's wrists disarming him in one fell sweep. Then, before the winded man could even make a choked gasp Luke hoisted him by belt and collar and upended him on the poker table, hard. Something broke, and fortunately for the gambler, it wasn't any part of him.

The house bouncer however, having approached from behind was caught with a spinning back fist and a warning growl from Luke. The Growl was entirely unnecessary however for the blow to the bouncer's face had completely crumpled the poor man's nose, lifted him off his feet, and deposited him hard on the back of his head and neck.

At this point the whole saloon was on it's feet...

Luke OMalley

September 16, 2019, 11:42:19 pm #1 Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 01:03:40 am by Luke OMalley
The Gilded Crossbones. An oddly trouble tempting name for a saloon that did most of its business with freight haulers, smugglers, and the local miner population. The structure was low slung, only one story tall, but sprawling. There was of course a singular large tap room with half a dozen tables along the fringes that were almost always occupied by games of chance as varied as the patrons within the hazily lit house of drink. A solid two dozen rooms split off from this main one with a scattering of narrow hallways facilitating their access. Here you could find anything from a credit hawk to a 'companion' with little to no guild affiliation or training. All said and done, the fact that the establishment operated profitably outside the law probably had something to do with the fact that you could usually see a pair or two of constables sitting at the bar with drinks, on the house of course, in hand.

It wasn't the constables that kept the peace in the Gilded Crossbones however. No. It was the patons. There was no check your weapons at the door rule. In fact the only rule that was posted was a hand painted sign hung above the bar that red in thick red letters, 'NO CREDIT'. Fights were not uncommon however. Expected even. Depending on those involved bets might even be taken and with a few regulars there were established odds. But fights stayed just that, fights. No one pulled knives even if on occasion a bottle or stool leg might be temporarily fashioned into a more dangerous implement. And for gorram sure no one pulled a gun. That was the constable's job if no one else's and besides, escalating a fight to that level was asking for far more trouble than most folks wanted.

And so, as the tumbling chatter and clank of glasses and bottles in the Crossbones came to quiet and heads turned to the now splintered poker table, no one drew steel and downed the tall fury eyed stranger. For a moment that stretched to the core and back no one moved no one breathed. The sandy haired giant was an unknown so even the bookies didn't start their whispering.

Then Luke shifted one foot backwards. The soft scuffing sound against the wooden floorboards was all it took to break the calm. Two new men came at him at once, either friends of the gamblers already napping on the floor or just looking to prove themselves the biggest baddest bastards of the joint. Neither were small men, miners by trade if Luke had to judge them in a single glance which he did. They tried to flank him, come at him from two directions at once. This at least spoke to some experience in brawls even if their history with them never left barrooms. Luke was having none of it. He sidestepped to the right and engaged the first man with a snapping kick at his knee. The blow missed it's intended target but his shin slapped meatily against inner thigh. With a snarling expression luke turned the strike into a low ugly version of what might have been a question mark kick and pinned the miner's precious jewels against the opposite thigh. With a tenor like cry the man collapsed leaving Luke and the larger of the two men to circle each other in a small circle of hastily cleared tables and chairs.

By now bets were circulating the crowd. The big miner was Known, capital K. His name was Pigiron Jim. A mean bugger by all accounts. A nasty brawler too. He was a foreman at a local metal mine, hence the name, that and the fact that his nose had been smashed flat some time in his youth giving his face a piggish cast. Luke wasn't Known, capital K, or lowercase K for that matter. He was a complete outsider. Having arrived only three days before on a freight hauler up from Hera with fresh grains and fruits to be sold at exorbitant prices to the few on the orbiting rock who could afford it. But he was big. And so far had handled himself well. So the odds were closely matched.

The two circled each other. Eyes darting across equally broad frames. Neither quite wanting to make the first move or mistake. Pigiron had the advantage by a hair's breadth. He had seen Luke strike a few times now but that wasn't any information he was willing to bet on. Not yet at least. Luke however was fighting blind. Though to be fair, that was somewhat his specialty. A slow smile split his face and he gave his best devil may care grin at the man across from him. "Right! Mon then ya wee prick." He called before lunging forward with a swift jab towards Jim's face. The blow was blocked by way of paired raised forearms. But it had only been a gap closer and Luke pivoted into a hard hooking right that thumped solidly into Jim's floating ribs. The combination didn't stop there. As Jim lowered one arm in an instinctive response to the blow to his ribs Luke flung a wild but powerful left elbow towards the man's head. This ensured Jim kept his right arm up to ward off the blow while Luke pushing off with his right foot to drive a left knee deep into Jim's stomach.

The two separated then but instead of being a folding wheezing mass as most men were after such a blow Jim came after Luke with a howling left hook that kissed Luke right on the tip of his chin. The hazy light in the saloon narrowed to a pinprick in the center of his vision before exploding into a flurry of dancing sparks. Luke stumbled back several steps to the cheers of the onlookers. Jim for his credit was feeling the blow to his diaphragm and didn't follow up on his advantage, giving Luke just enough time to shake off his haze, one hand supporting his frame against an unoccupied table. Straightening Luke gazed at his opponent with renewed respect. This was going to take either some actual doing. Or a bit of proper street cheese. Which, fortunately, was Luke's specialty. His left hand quested on the table for a glass and came up with a tumbler with naught but a touch of watered whiskey at the bottom and two dwindling ice cubes. Not what he would call perfect but it would have to suffice. Luke tipped the glass up and strained out the rest of the drink before hurling the cup at Jim left handed.

It missed.

Luke OMalley

It wasn't meant to hit.

Luke's other hand was already balled into a fist and was following roughly behind the cup in an explosive superman punch. The blow landed but without the right angle or connection to drive Jim to the floor. It staggered him backwards a step or two and caused his countering left right cross to miss entirely on the first blow and only skate across Luke's ear on the second. Luke hammered home two more body shots, a swift left and a right but caught Jim's third counter strike hard on the left shoulder, pinwheeling him back and away from the miner only to be swung at yet again by the day ending haymaker. It missed Luke's face by a scant enough distance to brush the width and breadth of his mustache. Jim was quick for his bulk it seemed.

Quick, but not creative. He followed up one missed haymaker with another. Luke had his bearing in time for this one and skipped sideways while lashing out with a hard shinkick that left 'Ol Pigiron tumbling to the floor with several unkind curses spilling from his lips. While Jim picked himself back up Luke took a moment to inspect his surroundings. It seemed that folks weren't inclined to join the fray quite yet. Jolly well. It appeared that things had settled into a simple barroom tussle as anyone wanting to fight on behalf of the quick fingered gamblers was already taking a nap on the cluttered floor.

And Jim had straightened up. And by the gods above was he mad. Luke could taste blood in his mouth and decided then and there he didn't want to take another honest hit from the large foreman. The two squared off, hands up and eyes intent. Jim made the first move this time he opened with a few probing jabs that Luke skipped away from then a swift hook which Luke ducked. Unfortunately the following uppercut sunk hard into Luke's jaw with a clack of teeth that could be heard across the saloon. This was followed by cheers from the crowd. They of course wanted the local to win.

With stars again dancing in his vision Luke stepped back and threw a nearly blind teep kick that caught an unexpecting Jim in the mouth and busted up his lips and rattled a number of teeth loose. This gave Luke time enough to stop reeling, rather his feet beneath him and launch back in a counter offensive that played out in several short strokes.

He ducked in and delivered a fierce rap to Jim's solar plexus. This folded the inward only to catch a hard knee to the forehead. As he reared upwards a hard downward arching elbow countered his momentum, catching Jim hard in the temple. Then, as he stumbled, ultimately destined for the floor Luke switched lightly on his feet to a southpaw stance the delivered a full force rear leg snap kick to the falling mine foreman's face.

Jim his the ground as Luke finished blinking the last of the stars from his vision. He took one look at the prone figure before him and his experienced brawler's eyes took note of a lack of rise and fall of his back. Jim wasn't breathing. Well shit. Best make scarce before anyone took offense to that minor fact. Luke shoved his way through the crowds, drawing about half the eyes from the spectacle. The others seeking out the bookies and the moaning, or dangerously silent, bodies on the floor.

The door outside was only ten solid strides away.

Luke OMalley

September 20, 2019, 11:17:40 pm #3 Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 11:21:58 pm by Luke OMalley
Eight strides.

Three.

His hand was on the door.

"That big bastard killed Pigiron. Stoppem!"

Luke wasn't much of a runner. He never enjoyed it as a form of exercise. Now this isn't to say that should he need to get moving he was slow. Luke had grown up running from the constables on Londinium at a young age and had stuck with the practice as he grew to be an adult. He ran to keep in shape mostly and because it provided an amazing base for cardio. However as he began to build up a head of steam, arms pumping and feet thundering on the hard packed dirt outside the saloon Luke made a promise to himself that, should he make it off this suddenly significantly more dangerous rock, he was going to up his cardio game.

Unfortunately for Luke the small town of Dunfordshire was well, hardly a town really. It was a commercial shipping point that imported food for the miners and exported the raw ore they extracted from the moon. Sure the miners lived here too, but between the two hundred or so of them, a solid two thirds of them either being on shift or asleep at any given time. That left only a good sixty local residents and maybe ten to twenty folk from off world out and about. And rarely that many at a time. And so, as Luke ran for all he was worth towards the small spaceport in the center of town, there were no proper crowds to disappear into. Worse than that, there were only about four folk on the street and all of them looked to be miners. Miners who would probably take exception to an offworlder killing one of their own, regardless of their feelings towards the foreman.

Several breathless words broke from Luke's lips as he plowed past two men, earning him matched disgruntled look but so far no cry of anger had come from the Gilded Crossbones. Fortunate for him he supposed. Lifting his head to get a better bearing on what was ahead and hopefully to catch sight of a ship or shuttle that looked like it was about ready to take off. Instead what he saw was the port authority constable stepping solidly into his path and raising a hand. Luke didn't slow down. If anything he put on more speed. Acting reasonably the constable took a step back and reached for his belt, fingers trying to unsnap his pistol. Before he could draw Luke was airborne and rapidly closing the gap. The point of impact between the two men, one a constable's deputy, the other a fleeing fugitive, was a jawline that was only just beginning to grow a beard, and a knee that had seen far more stubborn jaws. Things went predictably with Luke only stumbling a few steps before returning to a full tilt run towards the nearest shuttle, one a figure was just beginning to step into, and the deputy lying back to take an assisted nap.

Sliding to a stop an arms length from the shuttle Luke managed to pull up a grin that did a wonderful job of making it appear that he was trying to catch his breath. "Pard'n me mate, but what'n'be ta chance of catchin' a wee ride on yer starlin' craft 'ere?" He even managed a friendly smile after speaking. Perhaps he wasn't as out of breath as he had initially thought.

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