Taking Action

Taking Action

A Chapter by Kirby Inc.
"

How far would you go to help someone you hardly knew?

"

   Legend tells of a Belysning in the past which was ruled by sheer power; thus the Coliseum served as the court of law. The strong won power and the weak were slain. Criminals were forced to fight for their lives: If they lived, they were acquitted. If not, then their punishment was already delivered. The public always came out in full force to witness these ‘trials’. Over time, once a traditional government emerged, the grand Coliseum of old lost its political significance, but endured as a source of entertainment. With this change came new potential, as eager merchants quickly populated the area around the Coliseum, opening their stands and peddling their wares, leading to the birth of what is now known as the Great Market Square.




    Marko was a simple merchant; well, that’s what he always told himself. No one needed to know anything about him; they just needed to buy what he was selling. Those few who knew him well knew he would gladly sell anything he could make a profit on. What he did to garner such profits…well that was his business. Who really cared if he made a little extra on the side? His customers weren’t smart enough to notice the little price increases from time to time. Besides, Marko felt like he was entitled to his money! He paid out enough of a cut to them monthly; all he wanted was more for himself! What was so wrong with that?

    He shrugged that thought from his mind as he tended to his produce stand just north of the Great Market Square. His stand was set up outside of his home, for he did not trust it left alone overnight. From here, he got enough customers to make his living. Today, however, business was slow. Fewer customers than normal were passing through; those who did were the few regular customers he had managed to befriend over the years. So, when three strangers showed up in front of his stand, he approached them with his usual frenetic fervor.

    “Can I help you?”


One Day Earlier...


    “Are you sure about this?” asked Aria.

    “Look,” Duke replied, “This city is ruled by violence. If we want to learn anything, we're gonna have to throw our weight around a little.”

    “But...blackmail?” Aria said, looking rather put off by the whole situation.

    Keogh sat up on the bed, wincing slightly from his heavily bandaged ribs. “If it makes you feel any better, the guy's a crook himself,” he reassured her.

    “If you don't want to be a part of this, Aria, then stay here. You don't have to come with,” said Duke.

    Aria shook her head, regaining her composure. “I'll go. If...if this is what's really going on in the world, then...I'll face it too.”

    Keogh stood up, his ribs still clearly bothering him. “Count me in!” he chimed in, surprisingly energetic. Although still thoroughly battered, Keogh had improved a great deal over the past day. The swelling around his eye had gone down, his nose looked normal, and several of the less serious bruises had healed completely. Most importantly, he had fully regained his faculties, and was eager to get back on his feet again.

    “Are you sure?” Aria asked. “You're still...”

    “I'll be fine. Besides, I told you I'd help, remember?”

    Blushing slightly, she nodded, “Alright...”

    “Okay, we'll move early tomorrow morning, to be safe,” Duke addressed them both, “We'll be able to find him at his stand then. Get some rest, you two. Tomorrow's gonna be a busy day!”



    “Can I help you?” Marko the merchant approached Keogh first, who had his eye on some fresh red apples on display. As Marko turned to greet the other two, Duke grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the ground roughly.

    “We need to talk,” growled Duke. Marko yelped in fright. Desperate, he tried to run, stumbling to his feet, only to have a red apple bounce off his skull with a dull thud. He fell to the earth with an anguished cry, and Duke promptly grabbed him by the back of his shirt and pulled him to his feet again. “Inside!” Duke ordered, forcing him toward the door.

    “Nice throw...” commented Aria. Keogh shrugged, tossing her an apple and following Duke inside. From across the street, a tall, middle-aged man followed their movements closely. He had a long, thin scar over his right eye, but his eyes glistened with intelligence. Reaching into his black trenchcoat, he pulled out a throwing knife with a small roll of paper tied on the handle. He carefully tested the balance of the blade in his hand, picking his target carefully. In one swift motion, he loosed the blade, which silently found its mark. Satisfied, he donned a black fedora and disappeared into the nearby alley.

   “I'll see you soon...my children...” he whispered.


    “What do you want from me? Take what you want, just don't kill me!”

    Inside, Duke had forcibly sat Marko down in an attempt to calm him down. The poor merchant still shook uncontrollably in a state of perpetual panic. Aria and Keogh stood to the side, leaving Duke in charge of the proceedings.

    “Look, we're not here to hurt you,” Aria tried to reassure Marko, “Or rob you; we just have some questions.”

    “Okay,” Duke sighed, “Who do you work for?”

    “No one! I run my own...” Marko retorted.

    “The people you have to pay...” Duke interrupted, “Who are they?”

    “What? But...I don't know them!” stammered Marko, “They just show up once a month and...”

    “Who do THEY work for?” Duke cut in.

    T-the Hawk!” Marko cried, “Happy?”

    “Who's this Hawk fellow?” Aria whispered to Keogh.

    “The Hawk? Only the most dangerous of the three warlords in charge here,” he replied.

    “Wait, did you say three?”

    “Yeah, three. Let's see here...we have the Falcon, who roams by day. Remember those two thugs we took out in the market? They were the Falcon's thugs. Then we have the Owl, who roams by night, preying on those brave enough to be out after dark.”

    “Then, those thugs who attacked you that night...” Aria mused, beginning to understand.

    “Sent by the Owl, I presume.” he said, finishing her thought.

    “So the Falcon roams by day, and the Owl by night. Where does that leave the Hawk?” she wondered.

    “We're fortunate to not have encountered the Hawk yet.”

    “And why is that?” she asked.

    “Because we'd be dead. Those under the Hawk are skilled assassins and masters of blending into a crowd. While the other two rely on petty violence to rule, the Hawk and his men are pure killers.”

    Killers... Aria felt a chill go down her spine at the thought of anything happening to Mr. Nelson...


    Meanwhile, Duke had given up on learning anything useful from their bumbling merchant. He had explained their situation to him, but to no avail. Marko heard many things in his line of work, but he did not know of any outsiders in the city lately. Plus, Marko didn't have near enough guts to ask questions of those above him; he knew his place in society! Completely irritated, Duke approached the others.

    “Next time, you do the talking...” he sighed, “That got us nowhere.”

    As Duke and Aria headed for the door, Keogh pulled a coin from his pocket and tossed it to Marko.

    “W-what's this?” he asked.

    “It's for the apple,” said Keogh, turning to follow, “Thanks.”

    “Keogh!” Duke yelled. He had opened the door to find a throwing knife buried in it. Pulling it out, he noted the small scroll of paper around the handle.

    “What is it?” Duke handed him the scroll, which he unrolled and read aloud.

    “Why waste your time? You want answers? Come find me...if you dare! Signed...the Hawk!




© 2010 Kirby Inc.



Author's Note

Kirby Inc.
Sorry this took so long...It turned out I had less free time than I anticipated I'd have. Onto the story...we're finally getting somewhere plotwise! Those who read the first version should recognize a certain someone who appears in this chapter! If anything doesn't seem right or you don't understand something, or I did something wrong, feel free to tell me! I want to make this story the best it can possibly be!

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Ive read this chapter before! I have no complaints for this chapter i understood everything perfectly. and im looking forward to finding ou what happens

Posted 7 Years Ago


I like the beginning the best. You build upon the story very well. The description when used is creates a masterpiece. Great job.

Posted 7 Years Ago


great story.... i loved it.........

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on March 18, 2010
Last Updated on March 18, 2010


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Kirby Inc.
Kirby Inc.

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After almost a year of activity (and inactivity) on this site, I'm proud to say I finally changed the crappy "About Me" I had up here! I hope to stay more active on here from here .. more..

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