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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crux: Revelation 6


“…and then he said ‘I know he’s a demon, but you can’t kill him – he’s my grandfather!”

The small crowd exploded with laughter, raising their pints of beer and shots of whiskey, toasting to the newcomer.

“So what did you do?” asked a girl who looked like a combination between a pincushion and rainbows, wiping a tear from her mascara outlined eye.
“I proved him wrong!” said Thomas laughing and raised his own shot, while the six people around him cheered.

A loud detonation interrupted the general good mood for a couple of seconds, then they resumed their drinking rituals with no apparent interest.

“What was that?” asked Thomas.

“Oh, don’t bother your head with it, mate” answered the giant pack of muscles on his right. “Just ‘em bloodsuckers conducting their loony experiments again. They be doing that on an’ off nowadays…”

“So blowing stuff up happens on a regular basis here?”

“Let’s just say we have time to rebuild” laughed the girl and shook her chaotically coloured strands of hair. “Say… want to come with us on a scavenger hunt?” she asked and winked at Thomas while Ash, the barbarian looking werewolf snorted amused.

“Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t say no to such a pretty girl” Thomas replied and flashed his wedding band. “But…”

She nodded and raised her whiskey glass: “To loyalty then! A rare trait in men these days…” A dirty look flew towards the lycanthrope who avoided her glare.

The place was actually not bad, Thomas decided, taking a glancing around. It looked like an excellent spot to get smashed and hang out with people whose lives were as crazy as yours. Of course, on Crux that was pretty much what it all summed up to. But Bastion was a little more special than any other city just because the individuals who lived here were all freaks to one race or another. Vampires, were-kin, mutants and some pretty weird looking creatures that were part machine, but wouldn’t quite qualify as cyborgs. He could also swear he saw a troll (or whatever passed as a troll in his mind). 

“Elysium” was too nice of a name though for such a common looking bar. It was the kind of place where you would find bikers, strippers and thieves, all bad asses and completely real – salt of the earth, as Lexi would say. They hung out in small packs, drinking whatever the boats would bring in and generally having a decent time, which was rather unusual to Thomas who always ended up in the middle of a blood feud between lycans and bloodsuckers. Low lights, beer stained tables, crooked bar, fat tender included, heavy metal in the background and a smashed TV over the shelves for the sake of authenticity. In all the other similar bars, in all the worlds, in all the galaxies, in the entire Universe, Thomas thought, the bartender had to be just as fat and annoyed.

Over Born to raise hell, born to raise hell… and the common loud chatter, Thomas thought he could hear Andrew’s voice trying to defeat the invincible level of noise. He turned and watched the young mage attempting to make his way to the counter, but failing rather miserably.

“I say, do you mind terribly stepping aside? …No, miss, I am not looking for a good time! …Oh, bloody hell, no! This is not a dress and I like my hair long!”

“He’s dead” Arlo commented dryly from the doorway.

“This should be amusing” Thomas jested, nudging his new-found werewolf friend in the ribs and pointing his chin in Drews’ direction.

“Oh, that’s IT!” the mage boomed and the CD skipped annoyingly to Can’t read my, can’t read my… No you can’t read my…

“Friend of yours?” Ash asked folding his tree trunk arms. “He’s about to be in a lot of pain, mate.”

“You gots a problem there, doll-face?” growled a giant yellow-eyed morph, who looked like his second form was that of a bear or something equal in size.

“Might as well ask you the same about the giant hunk of hair and sweat over there, buddy” Thomas answered, pointing vaguely at the grizzly.

“Yes, I do seem to have a rather massive issue, you failed result of a deviant chromosome!” the mage roared.

“He’s definitely dead” Arlo reassured her silent companion.

“I dun know what you just said, boy, but we dun take kindly to that kinda fancy talk ‘round here” the brute replied, lowering his face a couple of inches from Andrews’ and stunning him with a vile breath.

“Doesn’t look like much to me” Ash commented. “I’d wager on Bear over there, I do.”

“I don’t have time for this” the wizard muttered while his entire demeanour changed in an instant. His eyes narrowed and his fists clenched into balls. Sparks of dark energy crackled around him and his glare turned dark as midnight and full of stars.

“Nice lightshow. Still dead” Arlo nodded to herself.

“Bet you another round of shots that he takes down the whole bunch” said Thomas and sipped his scotch.

“What makes you so sure?” the steam punk girl asked.

“That,” he answered, pointing out the fact that Bear just stepped on Andrews’ hand-made leather boots.

A second later, the giant man flew across the room and smashed into the wall. A giant sphere of dark blue energy broke into several smaller and smaller ones until they dissipated completely into his skin. …can’t read my poker face… kept singing in the background while three other massive men tried to jump the wizard, but ended up projected all over the room, one smashing into a nearby table, another into the bar, almost taking down Ash with him, and the third, flat like a poster against the ceiling, where he hung for a moment. The latter fell with a loud and painful thud and, as Drew regained his composure, human looks and normally pleasant attitude, the jukebox skipped back to Motorheads’ rock and roll.

“Damn!” said Ash, Arlo and a couple of other puzzled patrons at the same time.

“Did it ever occur to you to come looking for me?” Andrew asked as he approached the bar.

“Sure, of course, I was getting right on that!” said Thomas and smiled like an accomplice to Ash.

“Take a load of, mate!” the giant bellowed and slammed a hand the size of a shovel head on the mage’s shoulder. “Have a drink! It’s on me – you’ve earned it!” he added in a London accent which made Drew raise an eyebrow.

“We don’t have time for this, Gates” he said quietly, emphasizing don’t.

“You know what I always say, old boy…”

“If you drink like a fish you’ll eventually be able to breathe underwater?” Arlo answered sarcastically as she joined the group, with Tesla looking rather interested in the surroundings and unusual social behaviour. Even with the weird customers around, they still looked out of place.

“No, but close. What I say is: if you’re going to die and go to a Purgatory-like realm, might as well enjoy a good glass of scotch while you’re there.”

“When do you EVER say that?” Andrew growled.

“Do you want to get technical or do you want to go back to your magical friends and lecture them about having a drink while you were technically deceased?”

The mage sighed and hoped onto a stool next to the colourful vampire girl who winked at him. He looked up at the mean-looking tender who was wiping a glass with a cloth that had seen much better days and a figure distorted by the ugly thought of cleaning up the scattered bodies later.

“Just pour!” he said, giving up reason.

“And keep ‘em coming! Drinks all around!” Ash added loudly, while the “Elysium” returned to its normal state of anarchy, alcoholism and what in Bastion passed for good will

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