“Please! NO, enou-” A frail terrified voice cries screaming out before another hard iron shod boot kicks it firmly in the stomach four times before all the wind it knocked clean out and gasping weakly for mercy.
Upon a bleak and dark alley in Dag’s Ward lays a man in his late 50s on his back lantern cracked and laying next to his beaten frame. Looming over him appear to be two bulky men in armored great coats with popped collars, rugged stubble and apathetic glares. One of the men squatted down and grinds his teeth savoring the position he is in and squats close before palming the back of the old man’s head with his large hand before promptly throwing it into the pavement with a grunt. Without reprieve he forces the old man to face him ignoring the blood streaming down his forehead, nose and eyes.
“It’s simple Simon, real simple…” Immediately another few savage strikes come from his associate to Simon’s back. With a quiver of pain and a trembling body he weakly pleas.
_"I… I just can’t get out of debt, Ever since Jake Horley bought up- _
With a growl the squatting thug raised his heel and grinds it on Simon’s hand instantly quelling his excuses with whimpers and flailing.
“I’ve had enough Simon, quite enough you’ve been a good gambler before but I can tell I’m dealing with some no good two-bit has been when I see you flappin them gums!”
A sudden clack of footsteps draws close as the associate turns to face his partner with silent concern of witnesses. Without so much as a word he takes a few steps away from Simon toward the sound to see a lantern light in the distance.
“Make it quick Bax, bribe em if ya need to.” the ringleader says with a distaste in his mouth clearly turning it into more frustrations he will take out on poor Simon momentarily.
Bax lumbered toward the lamp light to catch sight of Mercenary Patrolman escorting a nobleman through the dark streets both engaging in a lighthearted conversation. “Evening Sirs, afraid this road is closed tonight. Might i provide you gents some fare for your troubles?”
The mercenary put a hand to his sword for a moment then looked to his terrified charge and decided to examine this shady figure. Bax had a bulky and powerful frame perfectly shaped to be a bruiser, his clothes represented money and connections but above all else he noticed a small black coin embroidered with a hand of cards and a single die and in that moment his heart froze.
“Oh, Absolutely how silly of me to forget. A few Half-Galleons should do the trick to double back.” He says restraining the shaking in his voice. The perplexed look of his nobleman charge was ignored as the guard has no intentions of dealing with the cepts tonight or any night for that matter.
“Excellent, sorry for the trouble m’lords here you are.” Handing the coins to the petrified man with a smirk he returns to his compatriot dusting his hands like every other time in the past with a grin.
“Now where were we Simon?” The ringleader said with a wide grin.
“You really should have known better than to dodge me when you had a debt this large Simon… We’ve backed you, supported you, helped you and your family many times make ends meet in this town, Now haven’t we?!” He growls cracking his knuckles next to Simon’s bloody face.
“Y… yes you have Wickers, I.. I just can’t get the fund together I.. I’ve tried so hard!” Another set of knuckles strikes him on the back of the head as he immediately regretting his actions again.
“Just couldn’t?! You take me for some wetear here Simon? You think I don’t know how many suckers traffic through Five Fingers? You think you can convince me that you couldn’t have stole or robbed a few nolemen?!” Wickers pulled out his an iron cudgel handing it to Bax and simply says “left arm…”
“N-nn- NO PLEA- AH!!!” His voice screeched out before Wickers put his quad iron in Simon’s mouth and strangled him into silence.
“_Only one way out of this now Simon, you know that don’t you? Debts as high as these, and trying to leave town? Only way we can stand this disrespect is to hand over your final collateral.”_ Wicker’s tone was serious and despite the shock of a broken arm Simon’s eyes shot open wide as he shook his head violently pleading for it not to be so. " You either offer it here… now… or we just take it from you. Don’t be an idiot Simon…"
A sudden gasp escaped Bax’s lips as he stares down the dark street pointing “Ugh… Wickers.” With a turned head Wickers sees a shady form of a woman standing motionlessly staring at the trio. She wore no lantern and he could barely make her out in the shadows of the alley but she stood there, clearly watching them.
“_Let the bitch watch… after, tail her and send her to the depths over the docks.”_ Wicker whispered with a grin as Bax nodded and stalked closer to the woman who had tilted her head just slightly to the side while the duo had their eyes off her. Yet she was still still as a statue
Wicker pulled the quad iron of Simon’s Mouth and picked him up by the right shoulder commanding him to stand as he put the Quad iron to his back. Simon winced as he pulled himself up as best he could just sick with bruises, cuts, swelling and a broken arm. He watched Bax leave stride closer and closer toward the woman like a delicate animal of the woods scampered out of view as he drew too close to her with Bax giving sudden chase.
“Now then, have you come to a decision Simon? Be smart man and at least live while you can.” Wicker leaned in close and whispered to him “If you make us work for this more than we need to…I might just have a go at your wife heh, or maybe that daughter…. how old is she again?”
With disgust Simon turned and faced his oppressor beaten and broken and " You’ll take what you want from me…" he smiles between the blood and swollen lips “But my family? where do you think all that money went?” with a half crazed smile Simon spits a mouthful of blood into Wickers face which freezes the brute cold for a moment stunned the peon would do such a thing. As he continues “They got away from such a terrible place! And you’ll never use them, A father pays for his mistakes.” with the last vestiges of pride he has left he stands ready for his death.
Cocking back the hammer of his quad-iron quickly and with hateful eyes he growls out one final curse to Simon. “You stupid sonva bitc-” Just then Bax lets out a terrified wail of pain through the silence of the dark night as the filthy face of Wicker stares into the dark alley perplexed for a moment before Simon’s instinct to run is also enticed with the grim sound.
“The hell just happened?” Wicker blurts out in genuine confusion as he wipes the blood from his face to see the silhouette of the woman is exactly where she was just few minutes ago staring at them watching. Grabbing Simon by his broken arm Wicker stomps toward her quad iron pressed out demanding answers
“The fuck is he at wench?!” He squeezed off a single shot of his quad cartridge as she gently tilts her posture and head again causing the shot to miss entirely. Defiantly she stands as he storms closer unflinching from the gunfire. “What did you do to him!? You are going to regret this!”
The shadowy figure extends out her finger pointing at Wicker as a silent threat even at this closer distance he can only make out that she is wearing some form of dress. For a fleeting moment he feels a shiver down his spine as he stares at this figure in front of him just a few steps. Her eyes were clearly on him and gradually her body was shifting to flee like before.
A tiny groan of pain from Simon reminded him he was dragging a wounded man and immediately corrected the handicap by throwing his victim to the ground shooting him in his right knee insuring he wouldn’t be going anywhere. No sooner than he looked back up from his aim he only caught a glimpse of her escaping down the same Alleyway Bax had gone down just minutes ago. Without an ounce of fear he trampled after her kicking aside any obstacles in his way.
His lantern was barely lit the winding and constricting alleyway, it was overrun with crates and debris making it a chore for even a bulky man to move through. Only hearing distant sounds of overturned bottles or thumping crates. “When I find you girlie I’ll make you talk! You’ll be my bitch by the end of this night nothing but a whore on the streets when I’m through with you! Ya hear?!” Desperately trying to find her as rage seethed over his normally cool head.
His pursuits had finally taken him to a small side street with multiple exits. the clacking of chains waved in the night air and rigging above shuttered in the wind. No life was anywhere to be seen even here only a few short steps from a construction yard of some sort. The silence to be heard was terrifying to Wicker, never in all his years had he heard such pure silence on the streets, he was actually thankful to hear the clacking of those chains as he caught his breath rationalizing what happened.
“Well Bax is probably dead.” He thought to himself “And that bitch must of made off Scott-free the slut. who was she anyway a ganger?” With a deep breath and heavy sigh his thoughts returned to his priorities. “Riordan … right time to have Simon pay my deb-” a sudden few drops of liquid dripped onto his greatcoat as he brushed them off only to feel them it was slick and sticky. Bringing his hand to the lantern light he unmistakeable hue of crimson was smeared on his hand as he immediately checked the sky.
The grisly sight Bax hung suspended in a web of chains the hook of a Crane punched into his spine his head taken off at his shoulders dripping the last few globs of blood still left as Wicker realized the blood all had drained into a grate below him. His eyes were transfixed on the horror, but from behind him the head of Bax was throw into his view…. a look of sheer shock was on his face as Wicker instinctively turned around to who threw it stammering in shock.
A dark blur lunged at his throat as shallow gash carved into neck the size of his finger as he instantly held the wound and rose his gun at the figure. In the lantern light he could make out a fine white porcelain mask bearing the face of a weeping woman decoratively depicting cracks along it’s flawless face and smeared with the bloody hand print of most likely Bax.
In that moment though Wicker was too slow and a dagger was plunged solidly into his meaty right hand and twisted forcing his tight grip into that of a feeble child’s as the gun fell out of his hand. In a panic he stumbles back throwing his lantern at this woman as she twists unnaturally out of the way maintaining perfect eye contact with Wicker the whole time another knife in her left hand as she silently points and Bax’s fate and trails the finger to Wicker.
With sheer panic he sprints out of the alley trying to hold back the bleeding from his neck wound as he presses crashes blindly into a fenced off area with a sign he doesn’t bother to read. Looking over his shoulder the woman has vanished again to his dismay as he only redoubles his efforts to run somewhere he knows he lads would be.
Without a light, having lost much blood and fleeing for his life he stumbles into into something that groans at his feet. He recognized the sound… it was Simon, was he back where he started? He thought to his dismay. He forced his good hand into the darkness and picked up the figure and fumbled through his person.
“…Wi…Wicker is that you?” Simon asks just as terrified as Wicker.
Ignoring the man he finds what he was looking for and pulls the lantern from his hip dropping him and quickly lights it hearing the gasp of Simon below him as the illumination shows a bleak bloodstained woman behind him knife in both hands above her head and she plunges them into the back of his head and out through his left eye. In that instant the hefty thug falls to the ground lifeless smashing the lantern under his bulk cloaking the scene is shadow again.
An odd silence if only filled by the panicked breathing of Simon as he weakly speaks out “..th…Thank you. You saved my life, no my soul.” It is meet by the silence of the grave as Simon feels more unease now than ever before. “I am indebted to you, I can go to my family if I can just find a boat.” He says trying to inform this shadowy figure wherever she now was that he was innocent. “_I would never speak of you of course… you are my benefactor… my angel”_
The distant sound of a knife clangs on the road, and soon a course panting is heard like one under a mask as it draws slowly closer and closer. “Have… have I said something to offend you?” he asks in terror having realized the specter had been leaving till he spoke. “_I apologize! I… meant no disrespect!”_ The breathing is close and trembling is heard in the panting like one on the edge of satisfying a craving. “Please! you don’t need to do this! I just wanted to thank you!” He says closing his eyes as tightly as he could before suddenly the grew tighter and tighter as the fine point of nails pressed into his eyeballs and hands begun to ring his neck shut. Weakly gasping for a bit more of air he attempts to thrash against his attacker to no avail as a weak giggle escapes her mask as she continues to struggle to control her breath.
The morning rises as two men stand before the crossroads of Dag’s Ward seeing two dead bodies in the street. a young man shakes his head looking away while the older one throws his helmet down with a growl rubbing his head with both hand
“Two more last night…
” The constable says sighing deeply as he looks to his cadet who nods visibly upset by the violent display that happened to these last two victims. He replies grimly “_ Actually sir, I already heard a third one was strung up in the back alleys sir….”_
“Morrow Save us…” the Constable whispers to himself looking to the sign with with a glare as it reads Havershaw’s Folly