Will you accept your fate or will you fight against the system?
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Posted: Feb 9 2018, 07:21 PM
Oh god Nyles didn't want to think about how much money she'd pumped into her latest idea. The medium-sized ship, electronics, permits, decor. The Silver had spent more than what she had originally planned, telling herself 'no, I don't NEED this, I only WANT it so I shouldn't buy it' ... then buying it anyway. What if it was a flop? What if no one liked the idea of a ship being converted into a bar, flying around to set locations on timed intervals with changing a theme?
...HAH. Who the hell was she kidding, who wouldn't love it when booze came to them? Getting wasted a block from your house was a lot more convenient than getting wasted on the other side of town.
The theme for the night was geometry. With the press of a button, plain white walls soon began to fill with random shapes that pulsed different colors and changed sizes randomly. Light fixtures were masked to have a honey-comb pattern, the bar front made up of triangles that were smaller at the top and grew larger toward the bottom. Drinks would be served in a variety of shapes... the idea was clear. She could thank holograms (and a large chunk of change) for the programmable interior, hence the name of the bar: MORPH. Changed locations, changed appearance.
Since it was her 'child' and the first time the bar would be out and about, she'd be running the show for the night. Making drinks, taking orders, with the help of another bartender in case things got busier than she thought. The plan was to learn what people liked about it, what they didn't like, see how profits went. Plus it was her toy god damn it.
The ship had landed and with the help of Browns everything was set up. Nyles herself was wearing a sleeveless black dress, silver heels, and small silver triangle earrings. Her hair was let loose in wavy blonde locks instead of tied up in a ponytail as she usually had it. Three, two, one. The Silver drummed her fingers drummed on the bar as the ramp at the back of the plane began to lower itself down, officially opening her very first bar. Well, here we go.
Posted: Feb 11 2018, 12:44 PM
You ever get the impression you’ve just walked into somewhere you shouldn’t?
Well, suffice it to say, Rawson was suddenly feeling very well acquainted with that sensation.
As it was, Nyles’ first customer was quite possibly not what she was expecting. In stark contrast with the classy,, modern chique of the bar she’d so painstakingly created, the man who walked in looked more suited to a back-alley mugging in a darkly lit alley in Lower Novas.
The man was huge. Easily a foot taller than her when she wasn't wearing heels, leaving little doubt as to his position on the spectrum. Heavy black boots, dark jeans, and the black hoodie which he’d thrown up over his head didn’t do much to help first impressions. The stranger’s hands were buried deep into his pockets, and from what could be seen from the four or five steps that he took into the bar, he was sporting what was obviously a slight limp.
He seemed to realise his mistake too. The obsidian pulled up quickly, dark eyes narrowing as he quickly took in his surroundings — everything from the brightly decorated bar to the geometric seating.
From the glimpse of Spenders Court behind him, it was starting to rain. His hoodie, too, was covered in droplets of water that rolled off his shoulders as he took off his hood in an effort to be polite. His nose had the flattened look of having been broken in the past; face and head flecked with a number of cuts in varying stages of healing, and a dark shadow above one cheekbone hinted at the remnants of what had recently been a very nasty black eye.
He seemed to hesitate for a second. Behind him, a roll of thunder echoed threateningly, followed by a dog’s anxious whine.
It was Nyles he decided to direct his query to. She had that general look of 'In Charge', and his eyes narrowed questioningly in her direction.
“Allow dogs?” he asked, his voice sounding almost hoarse as he threw her an askance look.
Posted: Feb 11 2018, 06:34 PM
Well, fuck. There was her first customer, and dressed all up in black with his hood up he seemed more ready to grab the register and run than to actually sit down. Nyles was hoping for a at least a small group of men and women but with the sudden boom of thunder that rattled the glass bottles behind her there’d be no such love. Beggars can’t be choosers she supposed.
Based his size, clothes, and the second he dropped his hoodie, he practically had Obsidian written across his face. In fact it was a pretty famous face he was keeping hidden away, and she recognized it in an instant. Rawson Lynch. Isn’t that just something? Nyles wasn’t a fan of gladiator fights: they were distasteful in her opinion and lead to wastes of life. Unfortunately bars she mingled at always insisted on showing the fights so there was no escaping them. Rawson happened to be the current prized possession of the ring.
The limp, the scars; he probably looked like patchwork beneath his clothing. He’d been quite the looker before the bitterness of a life as an Obsidian wiped any chance of a smile off his face. Poor bastard has seen better days.
The look on her face wasn’t one of discomfort or fear: rather it screamed ‘fuck with my stuff and I’ll fuck with you’. Nyles was probably as threatening as a chihuahua. Speaking of dogs… ”Allow dogs?” She blinked and took a moment to process his words, the whining of a dog making her lean forward over the bar to look at the ramp. “So long as he doesn’t try to eat anything in here, including my cat, then you can bring him in.”
Honey-colored eyes scraped over her bar in search of said cat as she brought out a fish-bowl glass. Meant to make a large cocktail for a group, but it was soon filled with ice and water. Her heels clicked softly as she walked around the bar and set the bowl down on the floor.
Just as she stood up she heard a guttural meow. A chunky grey cat landed with a thud as he jumped off of one of the chairs in the corner. “Fish. Come here.” Nyles cooed, snapping her fingers to get the cat’s attention. Most would think that Golds and Silvers only had the prettiest of pets. Not Nyles. Fish had big buggy blue eyes, a chewed up ear, and a crooked tail. He’d strut around like he was the big fish in the pond, giving a motorboat purr as he was heaved off the ground with a grunt from his owner.
“So long as your dog doesn’t start a problem, there won’t be one. Fish is too lazy to start shit.” Nyles plopped the cat onto the counter, watching as he immediately rolled onto his belly and wriggled around. “Agreed?” Back around the counter she went and out came a glass with an ice sphere and a bottle of whiskey. “Water for the dog, and what about you. Seem like a whiskey kind of guy.” Probably not much of a talker but she’d try.
Posted: Feb 13 2018, 02:20 AM
She was being kind. Kinder than Rawson expected. To be honest, he’d been so prepared for her to refuse, that he almost didn’t seem to know what to do with himself now that she'd accepted.
He offered her a hesitant nod, and turned his head, pursing his lips. The earsplitting whistle cut through the bar like a knife, followed by a frantic click of claws as a black dog shot across the floor, nearly skidding through the corner, and finishing up squarely between Rawson’s legs.
“Hey!” he protested. “Easy.”
The dog only whined in response, looking up plaintively from between Rawson's boots. He was black, evidently some sort of shepherd by the looks of him. His ears were pinned back, eyes wide in something approaching terror, and when another peal of thunder echoed overhead, the dog nearly jumped.
“He, uhh…” Rawson looked down, seemingly at a loss over what to do about the dog cowering between his legs. Relenting, he bent over slightly, using one large hand to scratch the top of the animal’s head to try and give it some reassurance. “He don’t like storms.”
His hands were bent and twisted, stories told in the split knuckles and crushed joints. But it seemed to work, and the dog whined, turning his head to try and lick the ends of his fingers.
He was grateful, if truth be told. Most venues would have simply kicked him straight out, let alone agreed to accept the dog. Especially not, well…
Frankly? Women who looked like that.
The obsidian was watching her now, as she filled up the bowl, with a look that was caught halfway between curiosity and suspicion. As though he wasn’t quite sure what what to actually make of her. He couldn’t have told you what the bowl was for either at first, until she put it down on the floor.
Perhaps the world was still full of surprises after all.
The look didn’t shift until she came back with the whiskey. For a moment, it looked as though he was trying to suppress a laugh. “Yeah,” he admitted wryly, glancing off to one side before turning back to give her a shrewd look. “Y’ got that righ’.” That obvious, huh?
It was acceptance, he guessed. As much of a ‘I’m giving you a right to be here’ as he was going to get.
Approaching the bar was a slightly more awkward endeavour than it should have been, given the limp, and the fact the dog wanted to remain exactly between his feet the entire time. It was only when they got close that the dog even noticed the cat, and his ears pricked forward, making a noise in his throat that sounded like low growl.
Rawson was quick to put a stop to that. “Hey!” he barked, glaring down, a growl of his own rumbling up through his chest like a snarl. “Nuff’a that.”
The dog licked his chops, but fell silent.
Rawson didn’t sit, despite the fact it clearly would have been easier on him. He rested a hand on the bartop instead, a twisted middle finger — clearly broken at least once — tapping silently on the surface like a nervous tic. He shifted his weight off his injured leg, and, tentatively, extended his other hand towards the rather scruffy looking cat in an attempt to say hello. You could tell a lot about people in the details. That cat had a few stories of his own.
“I think it’s just a scud,” Rawson muttered quietly, though it was hard to tell which one of them he was trying to reassure. ‘Scud’ was a Lower Novas slang for the industrial-driven storms that swept into areas without warning, but disappeared quickly, usually within a few minutes of starting. “Rain stops, we’ll be outta yer hair.”
He wasn’t looking at her. As though looking at the cat was somehow easier.
“... Thank you, Ma’am.”
There was a noise beyond them towards the gangplank. Another two customers, pulling off wet coats. Rawson felt the hair on the back of his neck prickle, but didn't look around.
Posted: Feb 13 2018, 05:25 AM
There was an awkward tension in the air as both parties didn’t seem to know what to do next. God it made her feel bad to see a lower class look genuinely mind-fucked when a higher color was being nice. His whistle had caused her to cringe a bit, a quiet but agitated hiss escaping and for Fish’s rumbling purr to pause.
In came the man’s dog: what she had expected to be honest. A pretty big one, probably a German Shepherd by the looks of it, and just as black as the man’s clothing. The one difference between the two seemed to be the levels of bravery: clearly the Obsidian wasn’t as startled by storms as his companion. “I can tell. For such a big thing you aren’t a toughie, aren’t you?” There was a touch of affection in Nyles’ voice, the same coo that she’d called to Fish with, now being passed onto the dog.
Nyles did her best to make it seem as though her focus was on the dog’s head, not the Obsidian’s hands that just so happened to be there. Fucking hell. A papercut makes me whine like a child. Clearly he’d been through things she couldn’t even imagine.
There was a soft crackle of ice as the whiskey ran over the frozen ball. Looked like Rawson was relaxing a little bit. Obsidians had a certain stigma constantly clinging to their shoulders, so it didn’t surprise her that he’d be on edge. The whiskey summoned him forward toward the bar counter. Again, the Silver did her best not to focus on the man’s injuries. Hands. Legs. Face. Is there a place this guy’s untouched? Another pang of discomfort. Silvers and Golds were the source of his and the other Gladiator’s misery. After all, despair was something the upper classes tended not to feel: it was something they marveled at, with a morbid curiosity.
Speaking of curiosity it looked as though the two animals had finally caught sight of one another. Fish raised his head, his eyes bugging out about ten times more. That usually happened before a nuclear meltdown: buggy eyes, fluffed up tail. Just as Nyles was about to speak Rawson’s voice crackled like the thunder outside, causing the Silver to jolt a bit in surprise. Fish seemed to deflate a bit too, flattening down as much as his pudgy belly let him. “That’s one way to get them to listen.” She gave a half-laugh, mostly at herself for being so easily startled. Fish wasn’t one to pass up attention, the rumbling purr beginning again which helped soothe the blonde.
“You can leave when you want. Doesn’t have to be when the rain ends.” She said with a soft hum. No need for him to feel unwanted: now she felt like a bit of a bitch for having let appearances judge before personalities. “I don’t give a damn when people leave, so long as they aren’t assholes. So far you’re not being an asshole.” Nyles’ hand went to rub Fish along the base of his tail, looking from cat, to dog, to Obsidian. There was a stark difference between the two’s hands: hers were small and smooth, while his were large and mottled.
Nyles had never broken a bone but she didn’t want to think about what it felt like, not after seeing Rawson’s fingers.
“You can thank me by not calling me ma’am; you can call me Nyles. The cat is named Fish. If you need something for your dog, tell me.” Her attention turned to the two that had just entered, sliding the glass of whiskey over to the Obsidian as she did. “So, don’t worry about it. Also, I don’t charge people to sit down.” She’d call him by his name, but no doubt that would make him uncomfortable. For now she’d play it off as if she had no idea that he was a big scale Gladiator; not until he introduced himself and gave his name willingly.
Nyles tapped her hand against the bar top hoping he’d sit down. With that limp he was no doubt uncomfortable when standing. Looking to the newcomers she’d nod her head to a coat rack in the corner. “You can hang your coats there to dry.” Judging by the look on Rawson’s face he wasn’t too thrilled to have company. The bottle of whiskey was being rolled between her hands, waiting for the two newcomers to make themselves at home and prepared to pour another round for Rawson if asked.
Posted: Feb 16 2018, 03:46 AM
Her response to his thanks earned her a lopsided smile. A silver who wanted him to address them by their first name? That was new. Perhaps he'd made a few unfounded assumptions of his own.
Definitely more plated than pure, this one.
That wasn’t an insult, either.
She was blunt. He liked that.
“A’right then. Nyles,” he agreed, rolling the name slightly, as though checking to see how it felt on his tongue.
The cat should have been the first clue. Much like Rawson himself, the cat looked as though it had been shoved into a meat-grinder at least once in his life. He had the distinct look of an ex-stray, and Rawson was legitimately surprised when the cat agreed to tentatively sniff his fingers.
He realised his mistake quickly enough. “Yeah. Smells like dog, don’t it?” he muttered quietly, before ineffectually attempting to wipe his hand on his jeans and giving the cat a squick scratch near the base of its mauled-up tail.
“I’d take you up on that, only, ah...” Rawson picked up the whiskey glass and give a quick look down to where the dog was sitting between his boots, now leaning against the inside of Rawson’s good leg as though his life depended on it. “Looks like he likes it down there, y'know?”
Not that the dog was making it easy. At the next roll of thunder, the accursed mongrel gave another whine and began to push against the inside of Rawson’s leg extra hard, making the job of standing twice as complicated as it needed to be, given he could only put weight on one leg.
Son of a—
He was resisting the urge to look over his shoulder, instead keeping a wary ear behind him. The first lot of official customers were looking for seats, and by the sounds of it, more were on the way. With any luck, he hoped most would just assume he was part of the bar’s security and not give him a second thought.
Rawson — evidently — wasn’t one for savouring his whiskey either. He took a sniff first. Just barely enough to try and ascertain just how much advantage she was taking of him via the size of the hole this was about to burn into his pocket, before helping himself to a sizeable mouthful.
“Tell me Nyles. You always go ‘round adoptin’ strays?” He’d been looking at the cat, but there’d been something wry in his tone that was matched in his expression when he glanced back towards her, indicating Fish probably wasn’t the only thing he was referring to.
Posted: Feb 16 2018, 09:14 PM
The Obsidian actually smiled. That felt like it was an achievement. What many of the high colors didn’t know (or wouldn’t acknowledge) was the humanity of the people they oh so loved to throw together into pits to fight to the death.
Fish gave a rumbling purr when the scratches came pouring in from both parties. While Rawson busied himself with her cat Nyles stepped aside to serve the two customers that had just sat down at the other side of the bar. A few looks were being given to Rawson but so far the two hadn’t said a word. One of the pair kept looking back every few moments before receiving an elbow from his pal to stop. Don’t cause a problem or I’ll make it a real problem. That was what Nyles wanted to say but she’d bite her tongue.
With the next boom of thunder Nyles heard Dog’s nails scrabble across the wood slightly, no doubt wanting to get as close to Rawson as physically possible. With a click of her tongue she’d walk back around the bar again, stopping a few seats from Rawson before crouching down the best she could in her dress and heels. “You trying to take your dad out?” That was what she always referred to owners as: parents of pets. Fish was her ‘fur baby’ after all. Nyles held a hand out wondering if Dog would even consider removing himself from between Rawson’s legs. “I don’t have anything I think that’d help him chill out. The best I could do is get a blanket to throw over him but that might piss him off.”
Nyles looked back as another group of customers came in: three more. Not a bad roll so far. If more came in she’d have to call for her Brown, who was ‘working’ (probably napping) in the backroom. The three settled at the bar as well: which could be problematic, as Rawson now had people sitting on both sides of him, albeit with a few seats between them.
Speaking of Rawson, his question made her raise a brow, looking up to make eye contact with him before giving a smile herself. “You could say I prefer strays. They have the best stories after all. Not all cut from the same fabric, or high and mighty, like others are.” That was true though: all Coppers, Silvers, and Golds ever wanted to talk about was money or parties. It got boring. She’d deliver another look to Fish, who was currently trying to push Rawson’s glass out of his way his paw so he could lay down directly in front of the Obsidian.
Posted: Feb 19 2018, 11:56 AM
Rawson adjusted his position when Nyles crossed to his side of the bar. It was easier to lean his hip against the side of the bar to support his weight off his bad leg rather than use his arm. At least it left both hands free, and he busied himself with knocking back the last of the whiskey as he watched her walk around.
There was a second of confusion when Nyles crouched down in front of him, but it quickly passed.
She was an animal person. You didn’t need a PHD in human behaviour to tell you that. On cue, the dog’s tail began a slow happy thump against the side of the bar. The animal pushed his nose towards her with a whine, eyes still wide; clearly torn between wanting to stay between the ‘safety’ of Rawson’s legs in case of thunder and saying hello.
Dog logic. Attempt both.
“You could say I prefer strays,” Nyles replied, looking up at him with a smile. “They have the best stories after all.”
An unexpected reply, but one that had its own sort of poetry.
“Yeah,” Rawson agreed, eyes narrowing thoughtfully as he considered her answer. “I guess they do, huh?”
He was giving her a shrewd look now, watching as her almost as though he was having some sort of realisation. He nearly looked as though he was about to say something, before he shut his mouth and looked away, plainly having thought better of it.
Fish, luckily, came to the rescue. He could feel the whiskey glass attempting to move under its own power, which gave him a convenient excuse to look at the cat instead of back at the blonde.
“I ain’t even thought of a blanket,” Rawson added with a frown, almost to himself, resting an elbow on the bar to make it easier to scratch the cat behind the ear.
… imposing far too much already. Even if he got the impression the generosity was more for the dog’s sake than his, he knew enough of Silvers to know little favours usually came with a price-tag.
“Look, y’ ain’t gotta...”
He cut himself off again, took a breath, and ran a crooked hand across his scalp.
“Y’ done enough, a’right?” he finished gently, with a glance in her direction.
Posted: Feb 20 2018, 03:19 AM
When the dog would stretch forward she'd meet him halfway with her hand, as the other kept herself upright to ensure there'd be no crash and burn onto the hardwood floor. Nyles wasn't wanting to get too close to Rawson, out of respect for his personal bubble. She was sure he had people popping it way too often.
Fish paused his attempted cup murder in exchange for some ear scratches, his buggy eyes slowly closing as he'd mash his head harder against Rawson's fingers. "Y've done enough, a'right?" Nyles nodded at his words to show she understood. She'd trace her fingertips across Dog's head a few times before reaching up to grab onto the bar, giving a soft grunt as she pulled herself into a standing position. It was mostly successful since she hadn't slammed her head on the underside of the counter, but there was a slight stumble in the process.
"If you're sure. Just don't expect me to be able to help you up when he takes you down. I can hardly get myself up gracefully let alone someone who's what, two feet taller than me?" A joke, her honey eyes connecting with his a moment before looking to his empty glass. "Liking it or would you rather try something else? Something stronger? Weaker?" Well he drank it and didn't make any sort of a weird face so it must've been up his alley. Or, he didn't care what went down his throat so long as it took the edge off.
Nyles would pop open the glass bottle of whiskey once more to pour him another round when the newer customers caught her attention. She'd drum her fingertips on the counter top as a signal that she'd be back, slipping to the leftmost side of the bar.
It was just as she began to mix one of the women's drinks did the patron that had been oh-so kindly staring Rawson down finally find his voice. "You," Nyles couldn't tell their color right off the bat; perhaps a Gray based on their larger size (not as large as an Obsidian, of course) and authoritative tone. Muddy brown eyes burrowed into the Obsidian. "I know you. You're Lynch; Rawson Lynch."
Nyles paused a moment between shakes, the clinking of ice within the cocktail shaker halting just long enough for her to switch sides it was being shaken on. "The maaan of the hour," There was a bitterness seeping into the man's words; Nyles watched from the corner of her eye as she poured out the drink, sliding it over to the woman. "That fought a manticore and got out in one piece. Y'know how many it takes to take down a manticore? Three? Four?"
The sound of a glass being slammed down on the counter made Nyles' lip twitch and for Fish to jolt. "It was an easy bet on who shoulda won the fight: ONE Obsidian, or a manticore. And guess which side my money went to?" Bitter laughter. "So who's dick did you have to suck to kill it then? I mean it must've been maimed or some shit before you got hold of it. Tranquilized maybe? C'mon what was the secret, pretty boy?" Nyles glanced to the three customers she'd been helping before moving back in front of Rawson, sending an icy glare toward the rather potty-mouthed man.
'This is going to go to absolute hell isn't it? "Crying about losing money and look where you are. Apparently you didn't lose that much now did you?" The blonde snorted. Nyles had both hands around the whiskey bottle now, drawing slow circles on the glass to try to keep her zen. Strangling a drunk customer was bad for business. 'Just had to open a day earlier than scheduled, which means the one and only day without the damn bouncer a drunk asshole crawls in. Fuck. "When the fuck did I ask you?" 'Ooooh it just had to be a SASSY DRUNK DIDN'T IT. The glaring moved off Rawson for a moment to focus on her, before attempting stare into the Obsidian's soul again.
Posted: Feb 21 2018, 04:06 AM
She didn't argue with him, and perhaps he ought to be grateful for that. At the same time, it was amazing how much he could feel like an asshole in the span of three seconds.
At least the dog seemed to have perked up. Thanks to Nyles’ hello, he’d stopped leaning against Rawson's leg quite so hard, although he still gave another whine when a soft roll of thunder echoed outside. Rawson’s guess seemed to have been on the money; outside, the weather sounded as though it was finally starting to wear itself out.
He managed a dry laugh at her quip; a first for the night, and then rapidly bit his tongue before he had a chance to say anything else. His throat felt hoarser than it did a moment ago, and the offer of another drink was appreciated, even if he more mouthed the "Yeah," rather than actually said it.
As she drummed her fingers against the bar, Rawson gave her a nod to let her know he understood. That said, he couldn’t stop himself from watching after her for a few seconds as she walked away, until he caught what he was doing.
The bubble seemed to burst immediately, and Rawson ripped himself back to the present.
The bar had been filling up on either side of him. He’d been aware of it, although there wasn’t much he could do about it. Morph was a different scene than the bars he usually visited. He was used to dives; hovels and sanctuaries where the lower colours could hide from the world, and no one looked at an Obsidian more than twice. He didn’t belong here. Not in this part of Novas.
Everyone else knew it too.
The stares were boring into the back of his head, even if Rawson had long perfected the art of acting like he hadn’t noticed. He had his drink, and he forced the thoughts aside. But the tension was starting to work its way back into his body. The tightness around the shoulders. The flick of a muscle bulging at the side of his jaw. And the realisation that he’d let himself linger here for too long already.
It was too late now anyway.
The powder keg had primed.
They were Grays. Both the loudmouth and his friend. He could usually pick those by sight. They filled out military ranks anywhere they didn’t need Obsidians, and Rawson had worked with enough of them on Qesmoulia and every damned hostile planet in between. But this one didn’t look military. He didn’t carry himself right. The bearing was wrong. Rawson turned away from the stares, facing the rack of drinks at the back of the bar and kept his eyes fixed straight ahead as he rested both elbows on the bartop, watching it all of the corner of his eye.
His money was on ‘Cops’.
The muscle on the side of Rawson’s jaw clenched again, but he didn’t turn. Kept scratching the cat behind the ear, taking another mouthful of whiskey as though he'd miraculously gone deaf.
Then the Gray’s glass slammed into the bar. The cat jumped from beneath his fingers, and Rawson’s enormous shoulders tensed.
There was only one possible end to this, and it was a game Rawson couldn't win. Obsidians might be taller. Faster. Larger. It didn’t matter that in the Pit Rawson might be able to physically disembowel him with his bare hands. Out here? If he so much as raised a fist, even in self defence, he was liable to be shot on sight.
No one gave monsters the benefit of the doubt.
The Gray knew it, too.
Rawson’s his finger was tapping again. That rapid, silent twitch against the bartop he’d been doing earlier, which was now evidently some sort of tic whenever he was showing self restraint. He didn’t bite. Didn’t answer. Didn’t take the bait, even as a muscle twitched at the side of his neck.
The Gray wasn’t letting up. There was no glint of a scorcher. No bulge of a concealed weapon. Rawson had already checked. Military training died hard. But it didn’t change much. If the Gray wanted, he could have more Grays swarming the place in minutes. Less, if a squad car was already in the area.
It was time to go.
With any luck, if he walked away, the problem would disappear along with him.
He straightened up to his full height, and looked over, trying to catch Nyles’ eye. To at least communicate the apology in his eyes for bringing this on her even if he couldn't say the words.
It was too late.
The jumping sensation in his chest that he felt when he saw her coming back with a blaze in those gold eyes was completely illogical. As a Silver, she had more authority than anyone else here, but that still didn’t stop him from cursing himself.
He didn't want her dragged into this, even if he appreciated it. He'd caused her enough trouble just by being here.
Most Grays, when confronted by an angry Silver on their own turf, would have backed down. Not this one, apparently. Rawson was just starting to turn to leave when the Gray rounded on her next.
"When the fuck did I ask you?" he snapped.
Rawson's reaction was startling only because it was so sudden.
His head snapped in the man’s direction, glowering down at him, voice an honest-to-god growl coarser than gravel. “You leave her out of it, you got that?"
He realised his mistake just as quick.
Posted: Feb 22 2018, 03:29 AM
The air was heavy with tension as the standoff started. The other customers looked rather wary of the situation, a few finishing their drinks just as quickly as they were served to duck out of the bar. No one wanted to get between a Gray and an Obsidian: both were forces to be reckoned with, one protecting lives for a living and the other taking them.
Nyles flicked her attention onto Rawson when the man started to stand up. For a moment she was distracted by just how tall he was. Puts us all to shame, doesn’t he? She understood why he was leaving and she certainly didn’t blame him for it. Most Grays loved it when they had someone cornered. After all the only one that would get away with any bullshit was her, and that was because of her higher status.
Reality snapped back in when Rawson’s voice ripped through the air, causing the three to jump. ’You leave her out of it, you got that?’ Her heart shuddered in her chest as she looked at the Obsidian, who had whipped around while taking his leave. Fish had bolted off of the bartop to find a hiding place, his fluffed tail disappearing through the doorway that lead to the backroom.
A silence fell over the group, the Gray looking a mix of startled and angered. Nyles had seen the man’s hand clench up into a fist as it lay against the bartop. There were two scenarios in this: one where Rawson made it out in one piece, and one where he’d be put down like an animal. The difference between the two endings was whether or not there was a valid reason for Rawson to fight back: and she’d have to be that reason. Fuck.
“You motherfucker!” The Gray was beginning to jerk his hand up from the bar top when Nyles lunged forward. Both of her palms were placed on the Gray’s wrist to keep it pinned down, gritting her teeth for what was about to come. She’d keep it there for a few moments before the next upward thrust of his fist caused her grip to break. There was a sharp thud, a pained gasp escaping Nyles as the fist connected with her mouth. The look on the other Gray’s face went from smug to fearful as the implications of hitting a Metallic finally hit. Striking an Obsidian was something that could be gotten away from, but hitting someone like her? “You shitty little FUCK stick.”
Nyles’ eyes were watering as her body processed the hit. Both hands were covering her mouth, coddling her wound. He just had to hit me right in the teeth didn’t he? Oh she was thoroughly pissed now. If looks could kill the Gray would’ve been dead on the spot, her eyes glowing with fury. A split lip was the result, her hand pulling back from her mouth to reveal the blood that dripped down her lip. There. There was the reason; anything from this point she’d twist into the Obsidian aiding her in self defense to try and help him get off whatever bullshit charge they’d no doubt attempt to press on him. She looked to Rawson now with a look that said ‘for the love of god don’t maim him’.
Posted: Feb 24 2018, 03:12 AM
It happened quick. Rawson’s realisation he’d just given them the excuse they were itching for. The Gray’s face, contorting with fury at the rebuke. The clenching fist against the bar.
Then Nyles, doing what no one would have expected. She rushed in, grabbed the Gray by the arm, desperately trying to stop what was about to happen.
And then it all went to Hell.
Rawson knew what was coming before it did. The jerk of the Gray’s face in her direction; eyes contorting in fury. The cock of his elbow. The roll onto the back foot, lining up the punch.
He was watching it, and a part of him still didn’t believe what he was seeing.
Rawson was moving before the blow even landed, but he was too far. Too far to get there in time. The Gray’s fist collided with Nyles’ face, driving straight into her jaw, and the next thing the Gray felt was Rawson’s enormous hands, ripping him back, before he was thrown bodily across the room.
He landed with a crash of chairs and splinters. Someone screamed, but Rawson didn’t have time to look. His partner swore, took one look, and rushed in. Even injured, Rawson was fast. He stepped back at the last second, throwing out an elbow that caught the Gray in the face. The next thing he felt was Rawson’s enormous hand closing over the back of his head, before he was smashed face-first into the bar.
Blood spurted from the Gray’s nose as he dropped to the ground. There was screaming now from the back of the bar. Even the dog had darted for the safety of a nearby table.
The first Gray was back on his feet, snatching a bottle as he went, screaming something that might have been “Yousonovabitch” as he swung up at Rawson’s head with a flash of glass.
The Obsidian caught the hand, grabbed the Gray’s arm, twisted it outward, and drove in his elbow, snapping the arm with a sickening crack. The scream barely began to fill the air when Rawson’s head smashed against his nose, knocking him back, sending the Gray reeling, head smacking hard against the ground.
The second Gray was scrabbling back, breathing hard, blood pouring down his face as he desperately dialled the Comm.
“3D3, Dispatch. Code 31,” he shouted through a mouthful of blood. “Obsidian at 113 Avenue A. 10-78. I repeat. 10-78. Send units, 10-102, now.”
Rawson was already stepping backwards, both hands held up where the two officers could see them.
The Officer with the broken arm was groaning, trying to sit up, his arm bent at a brutal angle. Rawson’s attention fixed doggedly on the two of them, alert for a second attempt. He wasn’t breathing hard. Wasn’t winded. Fuck, he hadn’t even raised a sweat. Yet when he spoke, his voice had an unmistakable tone of tightly-lidded fury.
“They hurt you?”
He wasn’t looking at her, but there was no question as to who he was talking to. There was no evident worry about himself. About what was going to happen. No attempt to run, for all the good it’d do.
He just had to know she was okay first.
Posted: Feb 25 2018, 04:51 AM
Nyles grimaced as she heard the sound of the chair snapping into several pieces, a scream not belonging to either of the fighting party ringing through the air. There was a scatter and anyone that hadn’t been smart enough to leave before shit went down was currently scrabbling down the ramp and out of the ship.
The Silver stepped back as Rawson dealt with the second Gray who dared try to jump into the fray. There was a sharp crunch of a certainly broken nose, a crimson pool forming on the patterned bar top until the Gray raised his head to clutch his face. It would’ve been a better idea to sit there quietly or go collect his friend: but no, this was all about pride now and it was his turn to bat. He’d learn quickly just what his place was.
She’d thought that the sound of the nose being smashed into oblivion was going to be the worst noise of the night. Absolutely not. The Obsidian outdid himself by catching the arm of the first Gray that attempted to bash him in the head with a bottle, the sickening snap of his arm making Nyles snap her head in the opposite direction. Another sound of flesh-on-flesh as he was headbutted into submission, the blonde slowly turning to look once the shaky voice of the second Gray filled the air.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. He’s calling for backup which means Rawson’s going to get the SHIT shot out of him because these dumb SHITS got into something they shouldn’t have.
She turned her attention to Rawson when he spoke out to her. “You shouldn’t be worrying about me,” Nyles took a clean bar rag and held it to her lip as she walked around the bar, moving in front of Rawson. Fuck. Ok, calm down. “You’re the one who’s going to be in big shit here in a minute.” Think. Ok. They can’t shoot him if she’s in front of him right? They wouldn’t shoot HER and they aren’t going to come in guns blazing peppering anything that’s standing.
“JOSEPH.” She snapped her attention to the backroom, a Brown sticking his head out with fearful eyes. “Go help that jackass with his arm. Keep it still so he doesn’t fuck it up anymore and make sure there’s nothing sticking out. If there is make sure he doesn’t bleed out on my floor.” Nyles jabbed a finger in the second Gray’s direction. “YOU go over there with your god damn friend, and don’t you even consider arguing with me. I don’t give a fuck if you think you’re the goddamn captain right now. This is MY ship, this is MY bar, this is MY business, and YOU two fuck sticks assaulted ME and one of my customers.” She shifted herself in front of Rawson, but it wasn’t like she was really able to hide the Obsidian with her smaller frame.
“Don’t either of you Gray assholes think for one fucking second that your little bull shit parade of testosterone isn’t going to come back to bite you in the ass. I’m not an idiot, and I have god damn security cameras and audio recordings for shit like this. I’m going to have your badges served to me on a silver FUCKING platter.” Nyles had a bit of a potty mouth when she was pissed, and she was absolutely beyond livid at the moment.
Her attention went back to Rawson, trying to keep the glare from burrowing too far into him. She wasn’t pissed at him but it was hard to wipe away her anger in a moment’s notice. “And you,” Nyles pulled a bar stool over with her foot. “Are going to look as small and as god damn harmless as an Obsidian can be because as I’m sure you know, those assholes love to shoot Obsidians first and ask questions later, and I am not about to deal with a corpse, got it? So you SIT there and you STAY behind me.” As if she could possibly boss him around; he could snap her like a stick but she wasn’t in the mood for arguing.
Posted: Feb 28 2018, 07:20 AM
He didn't feel it until afterwards. He never really did. He knew what had happened. Knew what it meant. The implications, and what had to happen next.
The police’d take him, if he didn’t put a fight. Maybe a few days in Solitary in the Obsidian Lockup, if Dal or even Nyles could find a lawyer to get him released.
Maybe forever, if they couldn’t.
There was no point lingering on it. It was done. Finished.
The Officer with the broken nose looked as though he was thinking about having another shot. He was dragging himself to his feet, expression twisted in fury, when Nyles came down like a clap of thunder.
Even Rawson had to quirk an eyebrow when she finally rounded on him. A little ball of fury whose head didn’t even reach his chin. But she had a fire, this one. Teeth of her own.
He looked down at her, devoid of expression. His jaw clenched at her order, but he didn’t answer. Didn't so much as move. And in that moment, he had to remind himself, that kind to him or not, and no matter what she let him believe, she was still cast in Silver.
He never should have stayed.
The Officer with the broken arm had propped himself up against a table, breathing heavily. His friend had gone to check on him, sleeve held over his own nose to staunch the bleeding. He felt his friends arm, confirming the nature of the break, then turned to glare at Rawson, his voice carrying a hint of something akin to smug satisfaction.
“Court’s going to put your ass down,” he assured, voice a wreck through the mangle of his nose, and a dry scratch of a laugh. “Just you watch. Fucking monsters don’t belong in civilised society.”
Rawson’s black eyes flashed toward him. His face contorted, one side twitching, lip rising to show teeth. A deep rumble of anger rolled up through his chest, but he kept still.
He hadn't made a move to sit either, despite Nyle’s order. Sitting felt too much like cowering, and he wouldn’t give them the satisfaction.
The dog whined, trying to slink back between Rawson’s boots. He felt his heart jump, but didn’t dare look down, not for a second.
His throat was tight. Fury. Concern. It was hard to tell, it was that raw. “I'mma need you ter hold him back. They might try t’—”
He didn’t have to finish the sentence. She probably knew. Pissed off Grays and a big dog. They wouldn’t need much of an excuse.
The first peal of sirens was already audible in the distance. Rawson looked up, hands still still near his head, eyes fixing on the doorway with an expression that bordered on contempt.
Posted: Mar 5 2018, 02:40 AM
“Court’s going to put your ass down. Just you watch. Fucking monsters don’t belong in civilised society.” Oh these Greys were getting on Nyles’ last nerve. The glare that had temporarily been moved onto the Obsidian for doing the exact opposite of sitting like she’d asked was soon snapped back toward the Grey shit heads. “Fucking idiots don’t belong in military forces. Shut your damn mouth. The only thing keeping my foot from going up your ass is this bar.” The blonde heard the growl and turned toward Rawson. For a second the menacing expression on his face caught her off guard, but she knew it wasn’t meant for her.
For a moment Nyles had forgotten about the german shepherd until the poor creature tried to shuffle back between Rawson’s legs.
The Obsidian didn’t even need to finish his sentence before she was moving forward toward him and Dog. “Come here, sweetie. Come on,” She did her best to soften her voice: the last thing she wanted was for Dog to hear the tension going on in her voice and think he was in trouble. Getting bitten was the last thing she wanted even if it wouldn’t be done on purpose.
Her hand would briefly rest against Rawson’s good knee before moving to the nearest chair for support as the other took hold of the dog’s collar. The scratching of nails was barely heard over the wailing of sirens as Greys closed in. Once Dog was peeled away from his owner’s legs both of her arms would lock around the dog, across the creature’s chest and the other behind his back legs.
Just as she’d gotten a good grip on Dog she heard the sounds of footsteps coming up the ramp, her teeth gritting in apprehension. “I’ll watch him, and I’ll make sure you don’t stay in that shit hole for too long. Who’s your sponsor?” Hopefully she could keep that promise. The bright light of a flashlight stung her eyes as the officers came in, shouting orders for hands to remain where they were and for the Obsidian to submit.
Posted: Mar 5 2018, 04:21 PM
And that poor, idiot dog. He knew something was wrong. He could sense it. The tension in the air was thick enough to choke on. He whined at the grip of Nyles’ hand on his collar. Tried to pull away from her when she dragged him back, confused about what was happening. The sirens outside were loud, and the poor bastard just didn’t understand.
The only answer Rawson gave her was one word. Not even the full name, but it was enough.
Flashes of red and blue bounced off the walls. Sirens shrieked. There was a bang, and a crash, and the heavy sound of boots as four uniformed Grays made their way up the gangplank.
Each was armed. Weapons shouldered, loaded with a 50mA electrified stunbolt. One split left, the other right, the last two Officers following in formation. Rawson could have read you the damned tactics manual, and the look on his face was one of sheer contempt.
“NPD. GET DOWN.”
There was no fanfare. Getting down on his knees wasn’t easy with a torn ligament, but he managed it, never once breaking eye contact, or releasing the tight line of his jaw.
The approach was textbook. Two Grays approached him front and back, the one in the in front of him keeping his gun levelled at Rawson’s head to cover the other. That snarl was back. That animal, borderline feral look as Rawson’s lip curled, the battered bridge of his nose folding in on itself. And for a split second, the man actually looked as though he was about to step back.
But Rawson kept his hands up. Didn’t fight, even as the second Gray grabbed his arm, his fingers not quite able to fully wrap around the Obsidian’s wrist. Rawson was strong enough to throw him off if he wanted. There was no doubt of that. Perhaps the Gray even knew it too. It was plain, even then, that Rawson was allowing it, and the final link of the handcuffs closed with a snap.
He wanted to say something to her. A last word. A final apology.
He should have.
But the words didn’t want to come to his throat, and the Gray’s never gave him the chance.
He’d caused enough damage already.
Medics would follow to check on the injured. More Grays would be in to grill her for her statement again and again. He’d already fucked up her week. She'd already gotten hit on his account. No doubt they'd try to blame him for that too.
A sorry wasn’t going to make it any better.
The four Grays had Rawson flanked, guns still on standby as they lead him away. The dog was struggling now, letting out an incessant, low pitched whine. He tried to leap out of her hands. Failed. Whined again, then tried to twist out of his collar, trying to follow the retreating shapes as they disappeared down the gangplank.
It wasn’t until they were fully out of sight that the dog finally went still, gold eyes locked on the place Rawson had disappeared.
And finally understood.