Chapter 2.5 - Bar room brawl!  Noal's power revealed!

Chapter 2.5 - Bar room brawl! Noal's power revealed!

A Chapter by TOF_Matt
"

Just as Noal is about to find the answers he seeks, a fight breaks out at Gracey's...

"

Threads of Fate


Chapter 2.5

Bar room brawl!  Noal's power revealed!


               

“You little cheater!  There’s no way anyone gets that lucky!”


Glasses seethed, enraged that Ella had taken almost every platinum piece from him, but being accused of cheating lit a similar fire under Ella herself.


                “You’re kidding me right?  You guys were pulling the oldest scam in the book!  I mean seriously, who even pulls the Double Under anymore!?  And a vanilla Double Under to boot!  You know you could’ve at least tried to tweak the formula!”


                “How d-dare you!” protested Glasses.  “I’m s-sure I have no idea what you’re talking about!”


“Oh p-please, that’s the kind of stuff I pulled with my little sister on my aunts and uncles, when I was eight.”  Glasses remained silent, his eyes wandering.  Ella was already aware of the hand creeping up behind her.  “Okay seriously!” 


She slapped the velvet table and grabbed Baldie’s arm, which had been hovering over her chips since the argument started.  Forcibly pulling back his sleeve, she exposed a small accordion-like device with the Ace of Swords attached to the end. 


                “How hard is it for you to choke up!?” she asked, yanking the device further up Baldie’s arm before covering it again with his sleeve.  He could only stare stupidly in response.


              “Th-That doesn’t prove anything!” Glasses stammered, turning threateningly toward the dealer.


The dealer, intimidated as he was, of course shook his head no.  Ella half-expected a dozen burly bouncers to appear at any moment, but so far there was nothing.  Weren’t places like this supposed to have the good sense to employ security?  She shuddered at the prospect of newbies like this regularly getting away with these awful cons.


                “This is ridiculous.  Look, you guys are really flattering yourselves if you think I had to cheat to beat you.”


Ella flipped her nose into the air and was about to collect her earnings when a sharp pain suddenly stung the side of her face and knocked her to the ground.  Through her ringing ears she could hear Glasses’ muffled voice.


                “Why you insolent little t**d, I’ll show you!”


* * *


The sight of that man slapping Ella across the face was enough for Noal to begrudgingly throw himself off the bartender and explode onto the casino floor.  He shouted for the tattooed man to stay where he was, but there was little chance of that.  Ella really did have the absolute worst timing.


Noal leapt from table to table over hordes of screaming people, knocking over stacks of chips, sending the patrons and dealers diving to the floor in a frenzy.  Ella had fallen out of sight now, but her assailants were moving in.  Noal was disappointed in her; Ella could’ve easily dodged a cheap shot like that, but as usual her wide mouth and bloated ego obstructed her view.


He pushed extra hard off the last table, sailing into the air and hanging over the heads of the two bullies like an eagle over its prey.  The assailants turned to notice him just as Noal delivered a swift kick to the bald man’s jaw.  His victim crashed to the ground, catching the edge of the table with his chin and catapulting the chips on top into a spectacular rainbow of color. 


“What do you think you’re doing!?” the man in glasses yelled, as he backed off.  “Do you have any idea who I am!?”


                “Do you have any idea who he is!?” Ella shouted, furiously gathering up chips from the ground.


“Ella, I don’t think you need to-.”


Noal never got to finish that sentence as something suddenly wrapped around his leg and flipped his world upside down.  He looked up (or was that down?) and saw the bald man again, suspending him with a single arm, grinning through his gap-toothed mouth.

                “Ouch kid, that stung a bit.”


The great ogre waddled over to his partner holding Noal up like a fresh cut of beef.  The man in glasses bent over, looked him in the face, and chuckled.


                “Friend of yours?” he asked Ella, who’d stopped gathering chips and swallowed nervously.  “Nice try kid.  But like I said, you really don’t know who you’re messin’ with.” 


He turned to the mass of people on the casino floor, put his fingers in his mouth and blew an ear-piercing whistle.  Bystanders shrieked as a dozen men from every corner of the room stood up and pulled out rifles from their briefcases and petty coats.


                “Everybody relax!” the man in the glasses continued.  “Name’s Pellegri, and we ain’t here to cause trouble.  We’re just looking for someone.  You may have heard of him.  He goes by the name of the Human Hurricane.”  Pellegri and his goons waited but the crowd remained nervously quiet.  His face scrunched and soured.  “Human Hurricane!  We know you’re back there!  Don’t make me tear this place apart!”

Ella shot Noal a confused look, mouthing the words Human Hurricane to him.  He answered with just a subtle head tilt towards the kitchen.  Meanwhile, a stout mustached man in a shirt and vest ran up to Pellegri.


                “Please sir!  You said if I cooperated you’d leave my bar alone!”


               “Hey!” Pellegri interrupted.  “I said if you got him to cooperate.  Seems that was too much to ask.  Daryn, Mal, check the kitchen.  The captain would prefer him alive.  Personally, I don’t much care either way.”


                “What should I do with these two?” the bald giant bellowed. 


Pellegri thought it over for a moment.


“Hmm.  Take’em out back.  Teach’em the consequences of talking down to us.”


The bald man nodded, throwing Noal into the arms of one of the other lackeys and snatching up Ella himself.  They started a slow march of doom towards the back doors.

“Well that’s just great!” Ella groaned.  “I was up!  UP!  Now look, all my chips are everywhere!  I can’t believe you let this big ugly brute catch you by surprise,” Ella grumbled.


“You’re one to talk!”


“Look, forget whose fault this is for a second.  What are we gonna do about this?  Can’t you use your ‘you-know-what’ to get us out of this mess?”


 “Are you nuts?  Have you already forgotten what just happened outside!?  It’s just gonna make things worse!”

 

 “You ain’t getting’ away,” the bald giant growled through the gaps in his teeth.  “I’m gonna grind up your bones into salt for my steaks.”


“Noal!” Ella muttered, her eyes widening.  “I don’t think things can get much worse!”


He reservedly put a hand on the brace encompassing his entire left arm, pleading with Ella one last time with his eyes.  She only returned her patented what are you waiting for expression.  There was no going back from this. 


“Alright fine!  You asked for it!”


Taking a deep breath, Noal unbuckled his cloak, exposing his left arm for everyone to see.  He pulled one of the lashes of his brace and the entire lower portion unfurled, dropping to the floor.  At first nothing happened; Pellegri’s goons just shot him raised eyebrows like he was crazy.  Then suddenly, the tattoo on his arm jumped to life.  Its tendrils, free from their bonds, clawed their way around his entire forearm, spreading like a disease until the dark pattern encompassed it fully.  Noal winced as the markings burned and onlookers gasped in horror.  From the center of the pattern a single, serpentine eye opened and stared back at them.  There was no stopping it now; The Power was awake, and this time Noal was the one who provoked it.



* * *


The Power wasted no time once uncaged and even though she couldn’t see it yet, Ella could already feel the change in the air.  High above Baldie’s head, Fate threads snapped and reconfigured just like they had outside.  It wasn’t long before a chandelier high above them began to creak and moan.  Baldie took notice and, in his split second of distraction, Ella broke free.  The giant let out a roar that chilled her to the bone and charged at her like a wild rhino.  In one move, Ella threw herself into Noal’s captor, grabbed Noal, and rolled the two of them away just as Baldie was upon them.   The giant tripped over his ally just second before the chandelier broke free of its tether and shattered on top of the two of them with a deafening crash, burying them both in a heap of broken glass.


When the commotion finally settled, the Noal and Ella emerged lightly brushing themselves off, while Pellegri’s two lackeys groaned under the rubble.


                “How did you"?” uttered Pellegri, wide-eyed at the cracked roof and the fallen chandelier.   “That could only be… Fate manipulation?  But that would mean… fortune tellers!?  Here!?  That’s impossible!  Y-You’re nothing but a couple of kids!”

Ella smiled widely. 


                “Just a kid?  I’ll have you know I am Ella Gant, the most powerful fortune teller…!”


                “Uh, Ella,” Noal interrupted.  “We’ve got a situation!”


Noal had turned ghostly pale and it didn’t take Ella long to realize why.  The roof, where the chandelier had pried itself free, was continuing to splinter.  The crack spread quickly before stopping near the edge of the wall and releasing a small pebble that hit one of the gunmen on the head.


                “Ow, what the-?”


Without warning, the floor boards underneath him suddenly gave way.  Screaming in panic, he opened fire as the ground swallowed him whole.  His line of fire wandered randomly up the side of the wall, catching another gunman in the arm before cutting a path of holes across the wooden stairwell leading upstairs.  The stairs creaked and cracked before imploding, sucking another assailant down with them. 

Mass panic gripped the room and the rest of Glasses’ lackeys opened fire in a symphony of chaos.  The Power was in full swing.


Now the entire balcony was starting to come down.  Below it, about twenty people cowered, trapped between the collapsing building and the hail of bullets.  Ella acted quickly, gathering the threads of numerous gambling tables nearby.  She gave each table a swift kick and, with pin-point precision, manipulated their Fate threads so that each one arranged themselves neatly next to the previous one, forming a shield over the panicked innocents.  The balcony collapsed barely a second later, shattering atop the improvised barrier.  Ella quickly slid over to them.  


“Is everyone okay!?”  They nodded despite eyes wide with fear.  “Come on then!  Let’s go!”


* * *


                “Come on!  Let go!” Pellegri shouted.


As he wrestled for Pellegri’s weapon, Noal heard a click and turned to find one of the bounty hunters pointing a rifle straight at him.  The man smiled despicably until a shoe came out of nowhere and knocked him out cold.  Noal looked over to see Ella giving him the thumbs up, the unconscious soldier next to her missing his boot and a stream of civilians making their way out the door behind her.  Her expression suddenly turned grave and she pointed past him.  Noal turned just in time to see a dislodged steam pipe swing towards them.


                “Look out!”


Noal pushed Pellegri to safety and then leapt out of the way himself.  The pipe swung past and smashed into a support pillar on the opposite side.  Steam billowed endlessly from the opening until Ella grabbed a Fate thread attached to its valve and spun it closed.  Noal breathed a sigh of relief, until a spray of machine gun fire sent him diving for cover behind the bar.  Bottles and glasses shattered above him, spilling their contents down into the crevice.  Noal pressed up against the bar, lowered his head, and squeezed his eyes shut.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the rattling fell silent. 


                “C-Come out with your hands up!” he heard. 


Noal had to wait for his body to stop quivering before he could even open his eyes again.  His ears rang furiously.  He turned and peeked over the bar.  There was Pellegri, breathing deeply, excited.  His unsteady hand was holding a pistol up to one of the teenage girls from before.


                “Stand up!  Slowly!”


Noal put his arms up and slowly rose out of his hiding place.  Broken glass crinkled under his boot.  Only now could he see just how shredded his cover had become.  It was a miracle he’d escaped without a few extra orifices. 


                “Don’t move!” Pellegri yelled desperately. 


Finally, with the chaos seemingly subsided, he had a moment to survey the room, or at least what was left; it was as though a bomb had gone off.  Moaning and groaning permeated the gunpowder cloud from every corner. 


                “Look at this place.  You’re not just any old fortune teller are you?” Pellegri wondered aloud.


                “Whoa, easy there.  You don’t want to hurt any of these people do you?” Noal said, calmingly.


                “SHUTUP!  I could care less about these filthy neutrals, especially not when I have you in my sights!” 


Noal swallowed nervously.  “Who me?  I’m not anything…”


“Oh come off it.  Do you think I’m stupid?  There’s no doubt about it, especially not after… well this.  That despicable omen on his arm!  Only one person can cause this kind of complete and utter chaos.  The great destroyer, the twenty million platinum man, you’re the Human Hurricane!”


“Him!?  But he’s just a kid!” one of his subordinates piped up.  “How could he have done all this!?”


“Tch, fortune tellers and their magic tricks, I assure you,” Pellegri explained.  His hand was stabilizing now, and he seemed to be brimming with confidence.  The teen girl found no solace in this though, as Noal could tell from her quivering lip and streaming tears that stained her mascara.  “Well, no matter.  How does it feel knowing that your reign of terror is going to end here, at the hands of us regular folk!?  Go get him boys!”


Mumbles broke out throughout the bounty hunters, but not one of them took a step forward.


                “Didn’t you hear what I said?” Pellegri shouted angrily.  “Go arrest him!”


One man with a bloody face stepped forward.  “It’s just that�" Well I’m sure you’ve heard that he once defeated an entire regiment of Ouranos soldiers by himself, didn’t you?”


                Another soldier piped up.  “I-I heard he’s really a monster in disguise.  That human form is just a shell to lure in his victims…”


“You know spontaneous combustion?  I heard it’s all him!” another one shouted.


The remaining bounty hunters muttered in shaky voices as they slowly retreated.


                “Cowards!” Pellegri shouted angrily.  “We came here looking for him!  Now you’re all going to tell me you’re suddenly scared of him!?”


                “That was before we saw any of this.  You told us all those stories were exaggerations!”


Pellegri was furious now, squeezing his pistol a little too tightly for Noal’s comfort.  “Fine!  I’ll take him myself!  But don’t expect any of the bounty.”

Pellegri took a few awkward steps forward and glanced at his subordinates again, all of whom had sunk well back.  After a moment of self-reflection, he pulled his hostage further in front of him �" her legs nearly gave way underneath her.


“On second thought, get down on the ground and put those on!” he ordered from behind his shield, tossing a pair of shackles onto the floor.  “No funny stuff!”


“Alright, but I really think you should listen to them,” Noal cautioned as he bent down. 


“Shut up and put on the cuffs!”


Noal shrugged and did as he was told, but his attention was already elsewhere.  Fate was shifting again.  He could feel it, even if he couldn’t see it.  He looked over at Ella, who subtly motioned up to the roof, where the pipe she had closed earlier was starting to buckle under its pressure. 


                “Hey!  Eyes over here!” Pellegri yelled.  “You can’t afford to be looking at her!  Now do as I say!”


                “Uh, if I could just…”


                “Silence!”


                Noal shrugged.  “Suit yourself.”


No sooner had the words rolled off his tongue when the pipe ruptured, sending the broken valve flying across the room like a bullet.  In that moment of distraction, Ella tugged on a thread causing his young hostage to fall and slide across the floor.  Noal half expected the valve to hit Pellegri square in the head, but his opponent, surprisingly nimble, dodged out of the way. 


                “Ha!  Nice try!” Pellegri laughed arrogantly.


The bounty hunter took aim with his pistol, but was interrupted by a strange whirring noise that grew louder by the second. 


                “What is…”


He looked up, suddenly realizing that the ceiling fan, which was directly powered by the steam in that pipe, was picking up speed, winding up a fallen cable caught up in its blades.  The cable ran down to the floor, right around Pellegri’s feet.  He looked at Noal and swore a half-second before the cord snatched his ankles from under him and flipped him upside down.  The fan swung him in circles like a carnival ride before tossing him through the air and careening into a pile of chairs on the far side of the room. 


Silence.


Those lackeys of Pellegri still conscious enough to witness their leader’s misfortune were quick to vacate the building in a panicked huddle.  With the madness finally over, Ella collapsed onto her butt, and exhaled a well deserved sigh of relief.  Meanwhile, Noal walked over to the shivering teen and offered her a hand.


                “Hey, you okay�"?”


                “Get away!” she screamed.


She stumbled to her feet and ran for the back door, yelling nonsensically.  He sighed and retrieved his brace, snapping it back into place, the Providence Eye tattoo already having returned to its slumber.  Meanwhile, Ella bent down over Pellegri, who now lay passed out in a heap of broken wood and gambling chips.  She snatched a chip from under his nose.


“Still breathing,” she scathed, with just a hint of disappointment.

Noal let out a sigh of relief.


                “Well, that went well,” she smiled, picking up chips from the floor.


*Click*


A cold hard cylinder pressed up against the back of Noal’s head.  He put his hands up slowly.


“So, you’re the real Human Hurricane, eh?  Well it’s nice to make your acquaintance.”


Threads of Fate



© 2011 TOF_Matt


Author's Note

TOF_Matt
Playing off the bit in chapter 2.0, the girl that is in peril is now one of the very teenagers Noal longs to belong with. I think this now strengthens what her reaction means to him personally. What do you think?

My Review

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Featured Review

This was a bit long for my taste but everyone write long chapters. In this story it only adds to its charm. As far as ratings go I do not rely on them much because that is just one person's opinion just like what I am typing here is just my opinion but I like this story.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

A love trangle. Can't wait toh see how it plays out.

Posted 8 Years Ago


That was so sad... what you mentioned before, that Noal wanted to just be a regular person... and the person who represented what he wanted to be ran away from him. I'm glad that wasn't elaborated on too much and it was really subtle, but one of those things that if you read close enough you'll go "huh" and pause... only to keep going :D

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, this is an amazing chapter. There is a lot of action and detail you put in this chapter. You worded it perfectly and there is an good flow throughout it. I don't know what else to say expect that I can't wait to read next chapter.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was a bit long for my taste but everyone write long chapters. In this story it only adds to its charm. As far as ratings go I do not rely on them much because that is just one person's opinion just like what I am typing here is just my opinion but I like this story.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on June 24, 2011
Last Updated on July 30, 2011
Tags: Threads of Fate, tof, Fate, fantasy, steampunk, anime, manga
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TOF_Matt
TOF_Matt

Canada



About
Matthew Chan grew up in the harsh Tundra of Ontario, Canada, braving freezing temperatures, taming wandering polar bears, and helping the local populace battle the occasional giant ice spider - in ot.. more..

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