Pain, Preparing, and Plotting
October 14, 2013
When Jack could finally recover enough to use a table to help him regain his feet, he looked over at Phillip.
The man in brown said, “That sucked. A friend of yours?”
“Never seen him before. We probably just should have tried to kill him.”
“Which is so much harder to do when your body in rolled up in a ball writhing in pain,” Phillip said while patting the dust off his battered hat.
Both Jack and Phillip used parts of their Ki to heal themselves, but since Jack had already used much of his soul’s strength in his earlier battle with the armored Hyades this left him both physically and mentally exhausted. “So what are we going to do anyway? He said he left us alive so we could warn the other Boston Stalwarts that we need to leave the city by sunset. Are we going to do that?”
“There really aren’t many of us here. Dionysus followers are usually low on the Xemmoni hit list because we run bars and make good connections to help fed the more hedonistic aspect of the dark ones lives. And like I told you, a group of Darcarre made it their mission to clean Boston out of all its Stalwarts a good nine months back.”
“Was this guy, The Baron, one of them?”
“No, I think I would have remembered that guy. Perhaps he might have been behind the attack though. I heard rumors about a powerful Darcarre working with a Gloom and a Caradon up north. Perhaps they were preparing to make Boston their own. This could make sense, for I think Boston has some association to Vile Darken and his plans.”
But then seeing the look on Jack’s face, he held up his hands. “Don’t ask me how I know. I just know that out of all the cities in America, some high rolling Xemmoni decided that Boston should be the first town that hunted down and eliminated all the Stalwarts. The only reason we’re still around is that like most things which happen in the Xemmoni world, they have a short attention span. They figured they killed us all and in this case I believe they moved on to killing those of their kind that weren’t involved with the Dark Alliance.”
“Okay, Mr. longwinded, you’re mostly saying we’re in way over our heads, there aren’t many Stalwarts we can warn, or for that matter get help from.”
“Yeah, like I said, sometimes for various reasons, they let some Stalwarts remain mostly unmolested.”
“So tally off the list for me,” Jack said and then groaned when he forced his body over to the cooler. Removing a cold Samuel Adams Ale, he said, “I think I’ll join you in that beer-thirty now.”
“Well…” Phillip started slowly. “There’s that Tez guy, Bruin that’s so damn evil the Xemmoni probably figured he was one of their own. There’s Lanna, who they probably spared just because she’s so smoking hot. Felix has been allowed to live, because he’ll heal anyone for the right price, but since the Darcarre can also heal themselves, he might be in the danger zone now. I heard that Mitch was recently axed as was the town’s last witch. After old Galla died, they rest of the Hecate witches fled to Salem.” Phillip paused again, “Which just leaves Blaze, who might be hard to get a hold of, outside of the internet, and ah…Cleo.”
“She’s my, er, she’s another Dionysus, and um…. I guess we dated for a while and-”
“Okay, I get it. But out of the whole city of Boston that’s it for Stalwarts?”
“Like I said, the Darcarre hunted most of us down. Killed everyone in the team I was part of except me and Cleo and after going through all that Hell, we, you know.”
Jack eyed his friend. “Why don’t you start making calls and try to email that Blaze guy. I’m going to start getting weapons ready.”
* * *
Rabid pinched a boil that had formed on the back of his hand until it burst, sending blue tinged puss several feet in all directions. Ghost stood near the table and flinched when the jet of thick liquid splashed his tattered grey clock.
The Gloom’s burning red eyes glared his way for a moment. “Watch yourself.”
“Screw you, Ghost,” Rabid said. “Your clothes would be ignored by a naked homeless man in the throes of freezing to death.”
Ghost drew a rusty sickle from within is bellowing robes. “I don’t have to take such from the likes of you.”
Rapid leapt to his feet so quickly that his chair flew out from under him and shattered against the grimy basement wall. Stretching to his full seven feet, he glared down as the rag covered man. “Care to test that theory?”
Things might have gone south, if the lights in the room hadn’t dimmed.
Ghost looked up at the bare bulb, them Rabid. “The Baron nears.”
They both watched, as with a sweep of his Victorian cape, the Darcarre entered the underground chamber. “They have been warned.” He said simply. “The Stalwarts will either flee or be killed by tonight.”
“I don’t see why a warning is needed,” Ghost said, his flaccid lips flopping. “Stalwart Ki is sweet. I say we have a little dinner before we finish the matter at hand.”
The Darcarre looked down as his manicured nails for a moment, perhaps taking pride that he was as handsome as the other two were hideous. “Our plan is too important to have any slip up. If any of the Stalwarts are too foolish to flee, you will have your chance. For now we need to focus on having Leadhead eliminate the real competition posed by the other Xemmoni races. Once we have the city in our hands the true conquest for our Overlord can begin.”
Rabid spoke again. “So are we sure none of the remaining Stalwarts are those on Vile’s list.”
The Baron waved his hand as if swatting at a fly. “Yes, yes, my minions all but cleaned out the city several months back. We killed the Devons family and several others on his list.”
“But not all of them.” Rabid said, while shaking some lingering puss off the tips of his fingers. He made sure it flew in Ghost’s direction. “Who were the Stalwarts you gave the warning to? What were their names?”
“As you know, rare are the people that can hide their thoughts from the Darcarre. The two men I all but killed today were named Jack Primus and Phillip Brownhurst.”
The Baron had barely gotten the last word out of his mouth before Rapid rushed forward, unsetting the table as he moved, and grabbed the Darcarre by the throat with one of his meaty hands. The Darcarre clawed at his hands and wrist, tearing open blisters and removing flesh as Rabid lifted him off the ground.
“You fool!” the Caradon roared into his face. “Are you so concerned with your minions and experiments that you remember nothing? Primus and Brownhurst are at the top of Vile’s shitlist! If he finds out we let them escape, we’ll be killed in their place.”
He threw the Darcarre into the corner. “Time to gear up, whelplings. We’re going hunting!”
To be continued next Monday