Ladies, Gentleman, Die in a Fire,
May I present you
Chapter 7) Uncle Jay
Jerry followed the boy to a warehouse that had seen better days. A quick look around told him that there were a few ruffians about. Some youths a little older then Cobb, were acting as lookouts for this 'local' chapter.
The outside of the warehouse was dilapidated, as were many of the buildings around it. It was as if this entire area had been abandoned sometime ago. Odd for a bustling city.
Entering, Jerry could see from one end of the warehouse to the other. Again, it was degraded, with the roof off to his right having collapsed. There were places for a fire, as well as beds spread out across the floor. They were Personal living spaces styled in a barrack fashion.
The beds looked new, so did the sheets, as well as some furnishings that the fox could lay his eye on. The children who were coming into the warehouse, or pocking their heads out from their hiding places, were in the same state as Cobb.
“Orphaned thieves.” Jerry wrinkled his nose as he murmured to himself. Was there not a book like this somewhere in his dad's old Library? He did not like reading about it nor looking at. They were all skinny, some with malting fur and in need of seeing a healer. Some had the same bruising as Cobb. That was no coincidence.
“I am Uncle Jay. Where is the Mobiun named Lars?” Jerry demanded.
“His coming. Some git burned down Bogart's.” an older boy answered, a feline.
“Their lucky I didn't kill the blighter, then burned it down.” Jerry replied, then dumped the contents of the sack he carried beside him. Gold candlesticks, plates and other valuables scattered across the floor. A pack with food and other supplies was in the clattering pile, and Jerry snatched it up and placed it on the table.
“Lars won't like that kinda heat.” the boy replied, and instinctively glanced to Cobb. “He might put a whooping on you for it.”
“I'm the one who started the fire.” Jerry frowned. He did not like the idea that they were now looking to accuse Cobb.
“Cobb be the one who got caught.”
“I'm the one who caught him. Wait how do you know that?” the Fox asked, looking on the feline with suspicion. “Because as soon as he got caught you ditched him.” Jerry answered with a snort. “Some brother he is Cobb.”
“But, he was bigger'en me.” they nearly squeaked, folding their ears against their scalp in an attempt to look defiant. “Nothing I could do.”
“Nothing I could do.” Jerry mocked. “You could have jammed a knife in their knee and get your brother out of there.” the Fox shifted about inside the bag that had supplies. “Don't look at that boy, I'm not going to hit you. I stop hitting kids when I was seventeen.”
Jerry then added “Hungry children should not be punished.” as he looked over those that gathered around him
“We don't need your pity.” someone said defiantly.
“Pity?” Jerry whirled, narrowing his eyes on the speaker; who immediately cowered. “You will take this food. You will eat this food. And you will like it.” the Fox help up one of the wrapped rations, and shook it to emphasis the statement.
“Is there clear?” Jerry looked around them all, giving the best 'fatherly' voice he could muster. It did not help that he naturally gave off an air of 'I will punch you in the face for breathing' attitude.
There were no objections, and all of them were looking hungry at him.
“Good. Cobb. Come here. Tell your Uncle Jay why Lars hit you in the face.”
“How'd you know-.” Cobb started to ask as he come over to Jerry.
Jerry lifted him off the floor and sat in on the table, before giving Cobb a ration for themself. “I'm your Uncle. I know everything.” Jerry pointed out in an all knowing fashion. “Now eat this, and tell me why he hit you.”
“I almost got caught.” Cobb said sheepishly.
Jerry rolled his eyes, then handed a larger boy who was drawing closer to them with a bag. “Here pass that out to everyone.”
“Who are you?” asked a femine voice in shock.
“His Uncle Jay!” one of the gathering children replied to a woman who looked like she was in the sort business that one had to pay for their company. Jerry looked them over. She was not bad looking, but for Lars' sake she better be over the appropriate age.
“Cobb here ran into some trouble. Some large finicky b*****d put his hands on the lad and threaten to string him up.” Jerry checked Cobb's face a moment, then patted the boy on the head as they chewed merrily on dried meat.
Before the female, a bat of some kind, could give further inquiry, Jerry turned towards her and headed her direction. “I objected.”
“You.” the bat pointed, and covered her mouth. “You burned down Bogarts. Lars is going to be furious!”
“I really really want to meet this Lars everyone keeps talking about.” Jerry grinned, pulling his hood back. “I got questions for the f**ker.”
“His a Watch Officer, and he has friends, if you harm any of us-”
“First. If I wanted to hurt anyone, they'd be dead already.” Jerry replied, folding his arms over his chest. “Second. I don't care who the f**k this Lars is and how many friends he has. Are any of them taking care of these wee ones?”
“I take care of them. I'm their Big Sister I suppose, I run the bordello up the street.”
“Any of the sisters who work there their age?” Jerry asked through clench teeth.
“No. Gods No. Not in that capacity. Shame on you for asking such a thing.” the Big Sister scowled at Jerry.
“Good.” Jerry nodded once. “Though I would really like to meet this Lars. In fact I think you should send for him.” the Fox's tail twitched. “Tell him to bring his friends. All of his friends. Is there an alley nearby, one way in and out?”
As the Sister nodded, Jerry pulled his hood up once more. “Good. Good.”
It did not take long. Lars was dressed in some really shinny armor for a Watch Officer. Or maybe it was a Guard Officer? Jerry did not care. They had a hood on their head that looked vaguely familiar. They were a canine, maybe a husky. They had four others following behind them, all of them armed to the teeth, but he was the only 'official' in their ranks.
They had ducked into the alley, with two guarding the entrance as Lars and the other two made it to the end.
“His not here.” Lars growled when they came to the end of the Alley, looking behind an over turned bin.
Yet Jerry was.
The designated 'Slayer' of the Emerald Coast Group had been watching from the alley across from them. As soon as they set up guards, he walked in their direction.
“The Officer Lars?” Jerry asked as he approached the two standing watch. “Head of a 'local' chapter? With a kid named Cobb?”
“Bring him in here!” Lars ordered roughly.
The two at the entrance reached for Jerry with one hand each. They expected to grab the fox, drag him in, rough him up and make an example of him to anyone else who wanted to be a hero.
What they failed to understand however had been that Jerry was a walking cliché at this point in time.
A lone swordsman, helping out some orphans being beaten up by a bad male?
Why are you people still reading this?!
Regardless, as both of the mobiuns lurched forward to snag at the him, Jerry reached out to them and pulled on their wrists. As they both staggered forward, the Fox slammed the sides of his hands into their throats.
Now as both were sinking to their knees, Jerry took his time to pull both his sword and his dagger, and dispatched the two kneeling creatures without taking his eyes off of Lars. First flicking the blood off the weapons, then wiping them on the corpses, he put the weapons away, and grabbed the tails of his downed foes.
With a grunt of effort, Jerry pulled the corpses until they were just inside the alley a few feet, before resting setting his hands on his hips.
They all had drawn their swords, but none of them seemed eager to attack the Fox after such show of skill.
“Before you start whimpering and whining and begging for Mercy, I've been told to keep a low profile, so burning a building down and leaving two corpses at the front of a dead end alley are the limit of testing my Boss' patience.”
Jerry then offered them a very cruel smile. “But that does not mean I will leave you here with your fur if you cross me.”
“Who are you and what do you want?” Lars demanded.
“Your going to be giving up control of this little chapter
of yours, and you are going to disappear.”
Lars smirked at that. “Excuse me?”
“You know how many times I have to repeat myself that I do not repeat myself?” the Fox shrugged. “Lets keep this simple shall we? Get out of the city, never come back, or I will kill you and one of your friends.”
“You cannot go about threatenin-.” Lars drew himself up, trying to recover himself in some way. How dare this braggart go about making demands. Who did he think he was just walking right in here and throwing threats like they were gold coins.
What is that in his hand? What was that thunking noise?!
As Lars was still fuming mentally over the fact that Jerry had did what he did and done what he done, the Fox had pulled the dagger from behind his back again. Then Jerry planted it right between Lars eyes with a blindingly fast throw.
Lars crumbled to the ground, dead, still able to finish the word 'threatening'.
“Wrong answer.” Jerry grinned as he strutted forward.
Both the remaining two Mobiuns backed up defensively. “How dare you attack members of the Thieves Guild.” the one on the left snarled. It was a pathetic attempt to look tough. Really. Not intimidated at all.
“Oh put your f**king weapons away.” Jerry said with a hint of boredom in his voice “I don't have time for a lengthy fight.” he made a dismissive gesture as he came closer. They were reluctant of course, who wouldn't be?
“I said put them away or I'm going to rip your ****s through your ***** and ***** your f**king *****.” Jerry snarled viciously.
It was fortunate that neither knew exactly what he was talking about. However the effect was still the same. One dropped their sword, going as far as trying to catch it but failing.
The other, the speaker, was visibly shaken that their comrade had been disarmed with a string of very harsh, and very confusing words. After a semblance of hesitation, they put their own blade away.
“Good. I take this Chapter thing means that this was a Guild matter?” Jerry asked. “Did your employers know Lars was beating and half starving the children in his little Chapter?”
“What Lars does is not our concern.” again, the speaker spoke, and Jerry came close enough to be within arms reach.
Jerry placed his hand on the one who had been silent this time was smiling warmly. “What about you? You a friend of Lars here?”
“N-no Sir. I ain’t no friend of him.” they stammered.
“You see your smart.” Jerry complimented the stammerer.
Then, displaying the raw speed and reflex they just could not follow, Jerry reached over, took the other 'Thief's' sword, and plowed it into the owner's chest. Jerry never took eyes off the stammerer, though the stammerer more or less wet himself as they watched their associate simply die without cause, merit or warning.
“So.” Jerry started, pulling the stammerer away from the corpses.
The Stammerer however, looked on at his dead comrade.
“Look at me when I'm speaking to you.” again came that sinister snarl that had the stammerer drop their sword.
The last living Theif snapped their round eyes up to Jerry's predatory gold, giving Jerry their complete, and fear ridden attention.
“So. Does the Guild find it disconcerting as I do that Lars was beating his members? I mean they are only children.”
“Yeah, only Kids.” they agreed with a nod.
“You see, this misfortune was Lars' fault. If he had treated his wards with a hand of kindness, and accepted my terms, he would have lived, and well as his friend.”
“Yeah, I agree. Completely agree.”
“Good. See what negotiation and exchange of words gets us? No need or cause for violence. Now, their local chapter is going to need a new leader. I would imagine a smart male like yourself can go over there, and see what he can do about feeding half starved pups, kittens, mice and the like. Tending to their ills and the sort. Yes?” Jerry asked.
The Stammerer nodded.
“Good.” suddenly the tone in Jerry's voice changed, it quickly went from friendly, to murderous. The smile faded, replaced with a scowl that matched the menace in his voice. “Because if their Uncle Jay comes around and finds out that they have been slain trying to feed themselves. That they still live in squallier. I know your face. I will come to where you live. I will kill you. Your Friends. Your friends' friends. And their friends. I will do it in a way that it will be slow. It will be painful. And you will die screaming for days.”
The smile slowly return, but Jerry's voice still chilled the poor Thief to the core. “Is that completely and utterly understood?”
The stammering Thief nodded sluggishly. Then their eyes lulled upward, and they collapsed on their back.
Jerry regarded the fainted creature, shrugged with a audible “P***y.” before retrieving his dagger from Lars' face. Just for good measure, he took the Lens hanging off their belt as well.
Prodding the stammering thief with his boot, Jerry realized that they were flat out cold. Grunting in disgust, the Fox hefted the fellow male over his shoulder.
Then Jerry vehemently swore when he also realized that they had indeed, actually wet themselves.
Getting Information out of this one will be easy.
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