December 08, 2011
Chapter 2: Embers of BrotherhoodViews: Rudmed
Brutus stood outside of a small abandoned two-story house keeping watch while the boys inside had their fill of food. It had been weeks since they had a decent meal, and they had earned it. He looked around at the old abandoned factories that lay around his home. It was not the best place, but it kept them safe from prying eyes and the authorities at least. Not completely safe however, as there were many other groups. Each one more violent then the last, but Brutus earned a little respect from the bosses. They managed to hammer out a truce with most of them, but they were prepared in case someone tried something.
The door opened and a young man with blonde bangs stepped out. He was about Brutus' height and age but just shy of six feet tall. The one eye not covered by the bangs was a deep blue, which gave him the look of innocence. However the look was refuted by some scars on his neck and one on his cheek, "What would we do without you Brutus?" the young man asked as he took up a cigarette, and lit it.
"You'd survive no matter what happened Hilden. You've always been there through the thick and thin with me, but" Brutus replied as he snatched the cigarette from Hilden's hand, "That will kill ya faster. I don't want to pick a new right hand man now."
Hilden chuckled a bit and clasped his hands together then stared at them, "Fair enough my friend, but how long do you think this supply will last us?"
"A week, maybe a week and half if we play our cards right." Brutus paused for a moment picking up a mood, "Why? What have you heard?"
"A war...a big one. Even our truces will mean nothing we either fight or we die."
"Who is planning on starting this war? Who did you hear it from?" Brutus asked.
"The Blood Kings. A few of their members were talking about it."
Upon hearing the name Blood Kings Brutus face turned pale, "You're not joking. I'll go meet with some of the gang leaders around here. No one wants a war, what purpose would it serve after securing the peace we have?" Hilden shrugged, and Brutus thought for a moment before continuing, "Have the boys ready in case something nasty happens tonight. I'm going to meet the rest of the leaders." Hilden nodded, and headed inside.
Brutus grabbed the pipe he had from early during the raid. In times like these better have something to defend yourself, instead of one's bare fists. He would stop by the Artic Wolves first, he had better connections there than elsewhere. He was about halfway there, when three men stepped out in front of him. Brutus stepped to the side, but they stepped in front of him again, "What do you want?" he asked.
The three men didn't answer, but instead pulled out knives and slowly moved towards him trying to surround him. Brutus kept an eye on each of them, he would have to react, and be passive. Three on one was not very good odds. One of them charged yelling his war cry, "For the blood god!" Brutus used his reach and swept the man's legs out from under him. He heard two pairs of footsteps charging him. He turned bringing up his pipe in a defensive position to block the incoming blows. The sound of steel meeting steel gave a brief ring, but then there was silence. Brutus heard the man he knocked down getting up, and quickly shoved the other two away from him. He quickly turned swinging his pipe with all of his strength, there was a loud cracking sound as the pipe connected with the man's temple. The man slumped to the ground, and blood began to flow out from the wound.
The other two backed away from him very slowly, and Brutus turned to face them, "What's wrong you're afraid after I killed your buddy?" The two men only smiled as they began to approach him again, but carefully this time. They were only a few steps from Brutus, when they charged. One swung high at his neck, while the other attempted to stab him in the stomach. Brutus ducked the high blow, while stepping out of the way of the other. The one who swung for his neck had overextended his swing, and Brutus took advantage of it by jabbing the end of his pipe in the man's ribs. The man gasped and fell on his back trying to catch his breath, while his friend stepped in front of him.
Brutus smiled at the man, and knew now was the time to be offensive and get rid of one of the two. He charged the standing man swinging his pipe at the man, who ducked down to avoid the blow. However, the man did not anticipate the next blow, which came from Brutus' knee. The man stumbled back holding his nose, and tried to block Brutus' next blow but was far too late. Brutus' foot nailed the man in the groin causing him to let out a loud whine as he fell to his knees covering his groin. Brutus did not wait for the man to recover, and brought his steel pipe on the back of the man's head killing him instantly.
Brutus began to turn, when a gunshot rang out. Pain shot through his arm, and a warm feeling began to spread down his arm. He wasted no time looking for the shooter, but ducked behind a nearby dumpster. The last man had a laspistol, and he was slowly making his way toward Brutus, who cursed at his terrible luck. He looked around for something to help him, and his eyes settled on a laspistol the man he just killed had. It must have fallen out of his coat after he hit the ground, but the problem was he wouldn't make it without taking another shot, unless he had a distraction. Then he realized he could use his pipe, so acting quickly he stood up behind the dumpster and chucked the pipe at the last of his assassins. The man shielded his face, giving Brutus enough time to snatch up the laspistol and aim. The last assassin saw Brutus with the laspistol in his hand, and a look of fear spread across his face. There would however be no mercy, as Brutus pulled the trigger, and only a corpse fell to the floor.
Brutus let out a sigh, and slumped to his knees. He observed the wound inflicted by the gunshot, and he would need treatment from his friends. He took a few moments to gather his breath and stood, but there were heavy armored footsteps from behind him. He turned around aiming the laspistol, and almost dropped it at the sight of the figure before him. There was a tall man, Brutus assumed, encased in thick dark blue armor with a golden eagle across its chest and a white horseshoe on his shoulder. The helmet the figure wore had two red eyes that gave off a soft glow.
"Brutus Marxian, you have been chosen." the figure said, "Come with me to your new life."
Brutus recovered from his surprise, "Sorry, but I'm going to have to pass on that, as I have a group here who needs my help." With that he turned, and began to walk away until a heavy armored hand grasped his shoulder.
"You were not given a choice in the matter." The figure said.
Brutus attempted to shrug off the hand, but held on, "I said no!" he yelled as he turned to face the figure with the laspistol ready. The figure moved quickly and with such strength grabbed the arm with the laspistol and yanked it toward the sky. The force lifted Brutus into the air, where he flailed seemingly helpless against this warrior's strength. Then there was a loud bang, but not a gunfire kind of bang. It was the bang of something much larger, and there was a flicker of light from Brutus' home. Brutus looked in the direction of the light, and saw smoke rising to the sky.
A new surge of adrenaline coursed through his veins as he struggled with renewed vigor. The figure's grip did not budge with this new struggle, and it continued to carry Brutus to wherever its destination was. Then an idea came to Brutus, and he pulled the trigger of the laspistol. The sudden gunshot caused the figure to loosen its grip just enough for Brutus to slip out. Brutus quickly ran away from the figure, and toward the smoke. He could hear the heavy armored footsteps coming up behind him, but he knew multiple shortcuts to his hideout. He took a sudden left, and then an immediate right, which led him to an intersection. He quickly took another right and hid behind some trashcans. The armored footsteps came to a stop, as the figure reached the intersection. Then it barreled down the to the right, the exact opposite way to the hideout. Brutus held is breath until the armored footsteps were very faint, then he left his hiding spot and sprinted to the hideout.
He saw fire after making the final left, and his sprint began to slow until it came to a dead stop at the end of the alley. The house his friends stayed at was burning to the ground the flame was blazing at full strength nothing could stop it now, but worse of all was his friends' bodies scattered around the house.
He stepped out into the middle of the bodies then fell to his knees, and for the first time in ten years tears began to cry. "Dammit!" He yelled as he let out a loud sob, "You all weren't supposed to go and die on me!" He saw Hilden, who had taken multiple gunshots to the chest, "You were suppose to live no matter what dammit!"
Over the crackle of the flames, and his own sobs he heard familiar armored footsteps. He stood turning toward the sound with the laspistol at the ready, and glared at the armored figure, "You! This is your fault! Had you not held me up I could have helped them!"
The armored figure met his glare, "I admire your loyalty to your fallen brothers, but do you really believe that? You alone could have made a difference?"
"Yes!" Brutus replied through gritted teeth, whoever this guy was he had a point, but he stopped his return.
"How foolish and immature at your age."
That was it! Brutus let out a war cry, and fired the laspistol at the figure. What was so foolish about trying to help his friends? What was so foolish to try and prevent their death? What? What! WHAT was so stupid about caring for others! These thoughts swirled in his mind at a dizzying pace, or maybe that was the blood loss finally getting to him.
The armored figure did not flinch as the bullets flew at him, but instead walked forward into the barrage. The bullets bounced harmlessly off his armor, and Brutus fell back to his knees. The blood loss and emotional breakdown had worn him, but he kept firing until the ammo in the clip ran out. The armored figure stood before Brutus, and looked down on him. Everything was going black he was so tired, but he managed to raise the laspistol one last time at the figure's chest. He pulled the trigger, but all he heard was a click.
'Empty....great...just..great' he thought as he collapsed, and his vision began to darken. Moments before it did he saw the armored figure kneel next to Hilden remove his helmet and began to say a prayer of some kind. The words drifted away the same way Brutus did into the darkness.