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BY THE DUST OF 'EM ALL : Chapter 11

 Post subject: BY THE DUST OF 'EM ALL : Chapter 11
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:31 am 
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Only an Underhiver could possibly withstand the putrid stench that permeates every inch of the foul Hive Bottom. Gas masks, re-breathers and flugs did their best in filtering out the worst toxins in the air but still the pungent odor was a permanent reminder that you had in fact, reached the bottom. Down Town and the great Sump Lake, for most Hivers, was the last stop.

The Stranger had not laid eyes on the vast sea of nauseas liquid slime since his days as a ganger. From the looks of things, not much had changed. The settlement ran along the makeshift shoreline and ragged pier of corroded metals. Hundreds of buildings, ranging from hab blocks to booze taverns and everything in between, lay in dilapidation of varying degrees. The town stretched as far as he could see in the dim foggy light, but he knew that every single one of the buildings held a multitude of vices.

Scavvies, mutants, outlaws and the lowest of Guilders roamed the contorted streets and haphazard alleyways of Down Town together. No one cared much for the Laws of House and Hive here. For those on the run, few Bounty Hunters ever came this far to collect- less they be brave or stupid.

For being the vilest, murderous decrepit hell hole in all the hive-maybe all of Necromunda- Down Town was also the one of the most wealthiest places, rivaling the Spire, cred for cred. Black Market kingpins were celebrated heroes here and only the most ruthless and cold blooded men earned the title “ Gang Lord” here.

The Stranger and “Slick” Ren walked side by side, their boots splashing ooze and muddy water as they made their approach into town. Dax’s health was somewhat better and his wounds all but healed- thanks to a wandering Ratskin medicine man they happened upon in the maze of long twisting tunnels. His cold green eyes, glared at anyone who tried to hold his gaze and his swagger was steadfast and adamant.

The tarnished lamps and over hanging glow globes announced that the day cycle was about to begin, though how anyone knew the difference was beyond rational thought. The pair made their way toward the docks, ignoring the half dozen drunken and malicious looking gangers they passed every few yards. Nearing twenty minutes of walking, Ren put his arm across Dax’s chest and pointed across the main drag from where they stood.

“ Okay lad, this is the place.” Ren said spitting on the ground, nodding to the two-storey shack nestled between a suspicious looking eatery and a water reclamation plant that seethed gases and blueish smoke.
They walked across scanning the road from right to left, slowly stepping up onto the groaning porch.

Dax adjusted his pistols on his bandolier, unclasping the buttons for easier access and fastened his bandanna tighter around his forehead.
“ So Ren, whats the plan?” he asked taking a deep breath.

Ren half smiled in confusion of his question. He opened the door and motioned Dax inside.

“Plan mate? Hrr hrr. We go in a for a bit of drink and some grub…that’s the plan.”

* * *

Far uphive, in the cool avenues of the Spire, two friends walk in silence, well aware of being followed. Even zigzagging through the crowds of laughing and smiling inebriated socialites, they could not loose him. Passing a group of lofty nobles they took a chance and glanced to their rear.

“ Bastards’ sure is goog Grim.” Nadine muttered in disgust.
Playfully throwing her arms around the massive Goliath, hoping their pursuer may get disoriented by the sea of patrician youth engaging in foolishness.

Grunting he leaned in, “ Delaque?”

“ No, not sure…wearing far too much tek and helluva lot bigger.”

Grimskull’s lips curled, Nadine feeling his displeasure.

“ He’s a fuggin’ Vega then.”

He looked back again locking eyes with the stalker for brief moment. His face burning into Grimskulls memory.
“ The sooner we get to Hive City the better. From there we can get lost in the swarm of civilians.”

Nadine sighed heavily knowing that would derail her plans.

“ Grim, you promised you would help me find my father.”
She looked coldly into his eyes, determined to change his mind.

“ Sorry darlin’. I’ll send someone to fetch him. A Delaque tail is one thing but a House Vega agent is something else altogether.”

She kept her gaze, unyielding to his decision. He said nothing, instead he pushed her forward and hailed a servitor scrimshaw. He paid the 50 cred toll and looked back again.

{ DESTINATION} The inhuman metallic vox belted.

“ The Wall, and fast” Grimskull ordered.

Nadine turned her head away from the old gang lord and searched the crowd for their tracker again, annoyed that he had vanished in the midst.

The servitors wheeled legs speed the tiny transport down the boulevard, passing radiant shops and exotic bistros.

Nadine finally broke her silence.

“ If we are going back down hive Grim, we should at least try and contact Dax, please Grim…” She pleaded.

His face was as stern as the corded muscles on his tattooed neck.

“ Sorry, the boy made his choice. He wants to go warring against the Judges that’s his business. So be it I says to him last we spoke. I’m still doin’ my best to make sure the fool don’t go getting’ hiself killed.”
He patted her head, hoping that would comfort her.

She continued shaking her head side to side, obviously unsatisfied with him.

“ Listen, old Grims’ friends are everywhere Nadine, from the top of the Spire all they way to the bottom. Trust me, he will be fine and sure as hell he will come back, still have lots of work for the two of yous.” He howled, grinning a little.

She was not sure what to make of his comment, but relaxed anyways, letting the perfumed air cooled breeze of the Spire caress her face and hair, the aloof background noise of the Spire’s streets fade away as the servitor powered scrimshaw raced towards one of the many access ways leading to the Wall.

* * *

The raucous orchestra of electric organs, guitars and hyrdo-acordians, belted rowdy music through loud speakers inside what the Stranger found was called Drake’s Place. Three dozen miscreant gangers, two bit scummers and drunken losers filled the tavern, cavorting and shouting curses and praises.

Ren and Dax had been standing by the bar nearly ten minutes when a small group of rough looking men, heavily tattooed and full of bionics surrounded them. The tallest among them, a wiry grey bearded ganger, spat on the metal deck flooring where Ren stood. His face was pock marked and had a hair lip sneer displaying a mouth full of black and silver rotting teeth.

“ Fancy yer selves ‘slingers? Got some stones strollin’ in here, drinkin’ up the Wild Snake stock and tossin’ cred’s like it be nuthin’.”
He said, slowly drawing back his long coat and resting his palms on the butt of his pistols.

Ren didn’t bother looking at him and Dax knew well to follow suit. Finishing his drink, Ren sat the empty bottle on the counter and passed Dax a thin cheroot. The tall man’s eyes shifted side to side, his veins pulsing in his forehead.

“ Tis all the same to you mate, “ Ren began,” I ain’t here looking to bury you or your ugly crew. Be a good lad and fetch a gent another bottle though, eh slick?”

He still had not turn to face the tall man, lighting up his cheroot and inhaling deeply he passed the still lit match to Dax. Even through the tumultuous cursing and laughing Dax could hear the tall mans’ throat growl. He held back his crew with a wave of his hand, all ready to pounce on The Stranger and Ren.
“ Ah, ‘nother green hiver come ta make a name in Down Town eh?” The tall man snapped and stepped in closer to the pair.

“ Welly well then! Guess I should introduce myself to you two soon to be corpses then eh? Seeing as how your rotting carcass’s will be floating in the Sump and….”

Ren cut him off, about facing at a blinding speed and drawing his bolt pistols, aiming directly at the tall mans chest.

“ Dead men have no need for names sump rat!” Ren bellowed in the tall mans face, unloading a hail of bolts into his body. The tall man was nearly cut in half, gore and bone splinters shattering out of his back as he was knocked to the ground, a bloody pool enveloping his gangs boots.

Guns still smoking, Ren leaned back against the bar. Placing one of his pistols on the counter he began finishing his cheroot. Dax looked at every man in the tall mans crew. They stood dumbfounded, unsure of what to do.

“ Best be off now lads, lest you wish a similar fate like slick there.” Ren said, letting the smoke slowly ease out his nostrils.

The leaderless crew begrudgingly dragged what was left of the tall man out of Drake’s front door.

Dax finally grabbed a bar stool and sat down, amused and impressed by Ren’s resolve.

“ Bar keep!” Ren shouted.

A leathery faced woman with crisscrossing facial scars turned to Ren and gave him a feint smile as she recognized him.

“ Do me a favor love? Send a runner to let that prissy bastard King Ace know his brother’s down in this shite hole looking for him.”
Ren ordered more than asked but tossed her a few creds in case.

She grunted under her breath and in a few moments and some yelling a drunken Rat Skin trudged out of the saloon.

Ren waved the bar keep over once again.

“ Say love, how’s old Drake holding up these days?” He asked playfully stroking her weathered hands.

She scoffed at him. But let him continue his mild flirtation.

“ Slaver’s came through one night months ago, dumb bastard crossed the Guild, you know how it is down here.”

Ren looked genuinely let down. He remembered Drake as a honest and tough man.
“ Damn shame then. I’ll drink to his memory then. Bottle of your house best love and give the boyo next to me whatever he wants eh?” Ren cocked his head towards Dax and slid the bar mistress a gold cred piece.

She walked over slowly to Dax and leaned forwards, exposing old gang tattoos on her well rounded breasts. Half smiling she looked into his cold green eyes.

“ What’ll have stranger?” She purred.

He did his best not laugh as her attempt at a sultry voice was poor due to the severe scar across her neck.

“ Amasec if you got it…and leave the bottle.”

She brought it to him, gave him a wink and Ren raised his own bottle to Dax.

They sat drinking for nearly an hour and ate a few skewers of grilled lash worm. Dax lost count of the drunken patrons that had came and went. All manner of gangers and underhive warriors drank to the point of blacking out- and some did. Most left stumbling or were thrown out fighting amongst themselves.

The Rat Skin that was dispatched earlier had finally returned through a side entrance and passed a note to the bar mistress. She gave him a bottle of Second Best and burnt the tiny leaflet as she trudged over.

“ Kay slick, there’s a pontoon waitin’ at the end of the docks just past Fat Sal’s bath house. Can’t miss it. The boat man’s a fat ogryn named Bo, he’ll take you to where you need to be.”

She gave Ren a kiss on the cheek and another bottle of Wild Snake for the road.
Ren kissed her hand and gave her a slight bow.

“ Many thanks, and sorry ‘bout the mess earlier. Damn Sump Pirates always give me a bit of trouble every bloody time I come down here.”
Ren smiled at her.

Dax nodded to her and followed Ren out of Drake’s, heading towards the end of the pier. It had been a strange morning so far, and he wondered just how much more strange it was going to get.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:36 am
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glad you wrote some more :)

keep it up

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:27 pm 
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Glad you enjoyed it Larkins.

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