We Are SummonedEdit
Bonnie came into the lodge, from her morning shopping, all flushed in the cheeks. She pulled the chair out, like she normally does, dumped her basket on the table next to me and Garvin. I was polishing my knucks while Garvin was reading the paper, when he was done, it was my turn. After a recovering breath and a hair swish, she turned to Garvin “A stranger dressed in a wool waistcoat gave this to me, when I was in the market.” She slid a note past me, so it was in Garvin's reach. It didn't bother me what it was, I busied myself opening the newspaper that Garvin had folded and handed it to me so he could read the note. Bonnie now sitting back down in her chair, let out a gasp for air, maybe she was hot because the weather looked mild, or maybe she was tense from the last time she withheld important news from us. Still, never mind, she gets away with most things with them looks.
Garvin slumps in his chair, he's taken more of a lazy pose these days and had his boots on a stool at the edge of the table. I hear him open the folded note, and take a peek at him as reads it with his eyes darting right to left, he twists his mouth and lips to the side. Breathing through his nostrils with the twisted face, he stares at me, so I can just see him past the right page of the Times.
“A bad note I guess” I chime in, going back to my paper when I notice his look.
“It's from Fisk..” he explains.
“Does he want me? Well he should have delivered it himself” I joke. “Or is he too scared..” I chuckled.
“He's arranged another fight and wants us there...” he looks down back the note, unfolds it again and quotes “ or as he puts it 'to prove yourself' whatever that means.”
I put the paper down. “Thought I'd done that at the Kaiser fight?” I pondered, laying my newspaper on the table, turning the page, still not interested.
“Dunno Rig, but we are being summoned, by Fisk” he says with a jokey voice, probably taking the piss more out of me than Fisk.
I place the paper, back in its holder in the middle of the table, pick the cloth back up and continue with my knucks. “Well I guess this will be just like last time. Just would feel easier if Doc was here” Doc by the way had left three days ago by train to see to that sister of the butler from Cotterill's place. It was eerily quiet with Doc away, hence the polishing of the knucks and Garvin reading the paper first. I kick the chair back, grabbed my stuff and went to warm up in the gym, do some foot work. After the training I had a shower, in the mirror I see all the dents and wounds I have taken over the time I have been here. It seems like every time I look in the mirror there's a different version of me. Sometimes the bumps on my face look like peppers other times I look like I have rust. As the Doc requested, while she was away, I would look after myself more, besides going to this fight that is. I check my fingers for where the stitching use to be. Rigorously checking the skin where the stitches use to be, Doc had asked me to put some cream she had left for me, over the skin, but I do it all over my hands, easier that way. It does make it difficult to hold things though, makes them kind of greasy. I get my gym bag with my change of clothes in it. I meet up with Garvin and Bonnie, who will be my towel girl, since she already shown her face at the warehouse last time. This time Fisk calls over Garvin, as he passes me and Bonnie we watch him cautiously, he could be taken away and jumped on, if Fisk is part of the Cabal, but maybe he's just an 'honest' promoter. There's bad guys, and then theres Bad Guys, I suppose. We go towards the ring, where I fought the Kaiser last time. Before I put my bag down, one of the men near the rear of the seats whistles for me I turn my face towards him, I can see he's styling to be a gent wearing a wool waistcoat, but he hasn't got me fooled. He waves me and Bonnie over to him. As we approach him, he takes his foot off the wall he was using to lean against and says “Mr Fisk would like to take you to a more, private ring, Mr Jensen. He has some business associates that wish to see a good fighter, in less common surroundings.” With this, he takes his arm from behind his back, fumbles blindly with a latch and opens a grey door. Stepping aside, he ushers us in. I step out the way so Bonnie can go first, after all she is a lady, more to the point if I have to deal with this guy, she can run away from us.
Place your betsEdit
Shutting the door behind him, the corridor we were funneled down was quite dark. “Straight ahead miss” Fisk's man instructed Bonnie. Pushing the door open, a shy light peered round the door. In this new room, there were again boxes in the center of the room, the building being a warehouse and all. There were several seats in this room, purpose built, with proper wooden rails, brass fittings and candles on the walls that segregated the crowd from the action. There were quite a well to do folk in here too. But the men in black cloaks really stuck out, they were intently watching me.
There was a smartly dressed man with a fine cut mustache and a slight accent I couldn't make out. I get my bag, take out the token I had brought with me, toss the bag on the bench and wander over to take a claim. “Yes how may I help you” the man inquired, was almost like he felt uncomfortable speaking to me, because it looked bad for him. “How much for this” I ponder, holding a championship trophy I had won three years ago. “Well it's being looked after, ain't it... yes quite a nice trinket there” He put some money in my hand “That's how much I'd give ya”. Before I could open my mouth, my hands, quite by themselves, tightened around the money. “Pleasure” the man said. Without even thinking I replied “£50 on Rig please bookie.” “So you flashing the cash on your own name Mr Rig? A Confident fellow ... so your odds are ...” he rabbited on, “I don't wanna know the maths, just give me a ticket” I snapped, the bookie wrote on his pad, which he took from his breast pocket “Good luck Sir” he said politely “Lucks got nothing to do with it” I said over my shoulder as I walked away from him.
Back at the benches, Bonnie was pretty quiet. She was, after all, the only woman in the place that wasn't on the arm of the man that had hired them, or that wasn't 'married' to them in one way or another. Who knows what some of these women were, but they certainly dressed colourful enough to brighten the whole of this dingy room up. Garvin had brought Charlie round with him, while behind him Fisk came in and walked over to the men in black capes.
Three's a CrowdEdit
Our 'man' waved to get my attention, looking over, he was standing over a stool, in one of the corners of the ring. Bonnie was there waiting, sitting happily, giving an overall inspection of the room. I get close to her, give her a peck on the cheek, held her hand “Look after this ticket” I tell her, when my lips are near her ear. She smiles and says nothing like normal. Funny things smiles. According to the Doc, when she told me to smile more, she cited that in a medical school days, she was taught there are 20 muscles to make up facial expression. This at the time made me raise an eyebrow or two. I saw Bonnie put the ticket in her corset and I sat down on the crate while she oiled up my shoulders for me. I was just done preparing when I saw Lana rubbing the
shoulders of a man with a large chin but small mouth. I was just about to start waving at her when Garvin smacked me round the face. “Come on get your game face on” he said psyching me up. “Fine but who ...” his right fist slaps me across the face, after this I didn't ask any questions, but still, I might have to have words with him about it later. Then a man in a formal shirt stops in the center of the ring, looked like a posh referee, not what I'm used to. Still a ref is a ref, I suppose, doesn't matter what he's wearing. While the man is shouting out titles of the other contenders; Garvin is shouting just under the level of the crowds cheers:“You ready? 'cause today's gona be tough,”
“What they got a real fighter?” I said smirking,
“Three” he said to me.
This confused me for a while. Turning round I ask “Endurance today heh?”
“More like chaotic, but you'll cope, good luck.” Garvin said.
For Whom The Bell TollsEdit
Before I could get a real answer out of him, the bell went, I got up, closing my eyes and stretching my neck and shoulder muscles in a quick rotation before I started to lay into the guy. As my eyes opened I could see all three advancing towards me. Before my brain could cope with the number, big chin shouts out “Oi gorgeous”. Taken aback, I stare at him. While my guard is down, I see the boxer on the right of me move his foot back, balance on his other foot and his fist moves out of sight from my one good eye. Turning my body towards my blind spot, his huge lunge and swing misses my face, by a hairs breadth, and I send him falling over the crates with a lug to the back of the head. Smashing a crate, he's sleeping with the fairies. One down, two to go, and not a scratch on old Rigsy. “Nice dance sweetheart!” No gobby shit calls me sweetheart, I think, turning towards him, I square the rest of my body up to the one that spoke. Sweat starts pouring down my face, stinging my eye. I was too caught up after the first guy, I forgot my blindside. All I hear is a charge on my left, and I feel a sharp pain in my ribs. I tense my left arm to block the hits. Turning my head completely to the side I can see him coming at me. Just in time for the wanker to pick on my weakness, my bad eye. Even if I could've see on my left, I wouldn't at that moment when a huge square fist slammed into my eye socket, shaking my head and sending my body in the same direction. Running it off, so I don't fall, whilst holding my eye I look around with my right, getting my bearings back. Smiling at me is the skin head bruiser. The slight gobby shit also laughs and says “Took that kiss good and sweet didn't ya.”
I get my balance from the left hook, I could see a right fist coming across and hitting my lower right jaw to the other direction, sending my head into over spin again. I had to duck, dodge, a while, take some hits in the chest, to get my head straight so I could move on the mouth that was taunting me through the fight, making the whole crowd of gentleman laughing at me through their tobacco covered beards. “Come on Lana, what you think of our boy here, hey?” Opening my eye, staring at the side of his pretty face, he was eying up Lana who was his towel girl, sitting near the edge of the ring while dancing backwards, out of my reach, leaving the close work to the skinhead. What more of a chance did I need to smack that smart mouth of his. Kneeing my nearby opponent in the balls, I wind him just for a split second, giving me enough time to jump in the air and twist past him and give our mouthy boxer a hit right in the nose and upper teeth. An eruption of red splattered on my face and the taunts stopped. The crowd was silent for a while, then the men burst out laughing, whilst coughing on their cigars in shock. As I looked down at the prone form of the talkative fighter, I could see a shadow form behind me. Moving to the side, old Brutus went crashing into a pile of crates. When he got up, I sent him packing with a forceful shut eye slam, sending the shakes through his jaw. The referee, stepping over the bodies, lifted my arm after 3 minutes the champion of the bout. The crowd applauded me, with a more subdued cheer, the men in black cloaks still looking peeved. Probably because I'd sent their men packing.
Night Watch BastardsEdit
After the mayhem, when I was cooling off on my stool, I could see Lana handing a cloth dipped in water to her man, the gobby shit. I shout out “Hey, you. What's your name slick?” The pretty boy turns round, his face still looking young, but still looked pale compared to the dried blood coming from his nose and violet bruise mustache he was wearing: “Billy. Billy Brain Box, they call me. Good fight, old timer” he said smiling, only to cause more blood to weep from his mouth. I can see his teeth stained crimson. Whilst Lana mopped it up, I chucked to myself, whilst holding my ribs, where Brutus had grazed me, maybe I was getting on, it would be my 29th soon, after all. Perhaps I should retire from the ring, and leave my fisticuffs to the 'other' fight. Still if Lana was getting inside information from a guy on the inside, about red sash, and this mouth was the man, then who knows. Maybe I would have a apprentice. All he had to do was live thorough it. The thought that I could be a teacher to another, let alone a school again made my laugh, but the laugh came easy, almost as if it was easy to laugh at, but wasn't that humorous, just in my head it was. On the other hand, that might be a few knocks to the head.
When I had got my coat on, I asked Bonnie for the ticket so I could collect my winnings. As I went over to the bookie I could see he had a worried look about him. “Give us it all then Guv” I said rubbing my hands as I handed over the ticket. This felt good. A big win, and all of it mine. Licking his lips, then his finger to count the papers, it seemed he had to count for a while before passing it over to me, maybe he was taking his time, trying to pass off less than he should, but it didn't seem to matter to me. I was winning, the money was mine, all in life was good. Turning round, pocketing my winnings, I look up to see the cloaked gentlemen staring at me severely unhappy, just like I had robbed them. I stopped to stare at them with my normal 'thoughtful' look, then went on my way, Garvin waved for me to hurry up, as he normally does. He's really become a headmaster of late, with these scoundrels he bought from Chelmie.
Leaving the building, we walked down a street. the usual night sounds were drowned out by the general bustle of people leaving the establishment, but nothing untoward caught my ears as we plodded off. Maybe my fatigue made me unobservant. All of a sudden, there was a thump, Garvin's knees hit the floor and then his shoulder, as he toppled over. All I managed to do was say “huh” then another thump inside my head and I couldn't remember the rest. I awoke with Bonnie shaking me, to wake me up. Her words were muffled, and the lights played havok with what I could see of her. Stretching my hands over my head which severely pained me, there was no lump. Still, the strain of the stretch was hitting my bad ribs. I patted down my jacket, no lump of money either. Diving in my inside pocket, all I found was a note “Don't be so cocky in future” it read. Fucking hell” I say. “Just when I'd made a bundle.”
A Challenge And A HalfEdit
I haven't kept up to date with my journal. Nothing amazing has happened. Our rippers at the lodge haven't quite got the toughness and fitness to fight some of these monsters that they hunt. So I have being training them with weights and something Doc calls cardiovascular work that she's has advised me to do with them. I just call it running around a lot. I have being pondering what happened to us after I had won the triple fight. It was silly of me then and there, to have bet so much on one single ticket. Next time I will bet a lot less or spread the cost out a bit, yeah, that's it, spread the cost out. That way I can still leave with a bundle.
Beginning of a new month for me and the rest of the Rippers. We have got word from Sir Bobby's friend (and mine to a slight degree) Mr Trombley that another scientist like Professor Cotteril, is in danger from the Cabal. Now, the Cabal wanted Cotteril to work/sell his plans to the Night watch (damn bastards who stole my winnings, I reckon. Garv says that Charlie heard some of them saying they was Night Watchmen, or something of the like) who represents the Cabal in politics and that. Latest word, was that the Night watch were interested in obtaining as much new technology as they could, probably to tip the balance so they could rule. With Cotteril dead and the plans back in the hands of the British Government, I guess the Night Watch were going for other targets. So with the tip off from Trombley, we thought this man would be of more worth fighting on our side than theirs. We got our carriage and drove off to see the man. Since this was a professor, a respected intellectual, there was no point me being there. So I thought I would get Mrs Morag to give me a lift to our prophet pen friend, see if he had any new visions that could be of use to the group. When I got to his house, the butler said he was absent. We left politely and went to meet the group again. Upon arrival, I can hear shooting of all kinds and a deep voice shouting out many insults. As I was getting ready to jump out of the moving carriage, the whole thing, came to a stop. As I was knocked out for a bit, my mind drifted back, to my time, when I was in seclusion in my cell, before I fought red sash's pet. The same cold, feeling, the strange smells, my burning cough in my lungs. It made me think on the whole, I was about to face something that would, I fear, end my life in an unfair way. I mean fair enough, when the glove is on the other hand, it's quick work when you finish off a fighter that can then go and recuperate. But when you are facing an unknown beast that seems to want to end your life because that's its instinct, is different.
Back in the ActionEdit
Coming to my senses, feeling my quick pulse from my heart, the dark decorations and wood paneling of the carriage, drew back “suppressed memories” as Doc has called them when I'd had a chance to tell her the previous week when smoking opium. Opening the handle above my head behind me, I tumbled out of the carriage backwards, falling to a squatted stance on the ground. There was gunfire everywhere. I could hear Sir Bobby going through both guns with rapid shots, aiming out in front of him, whilst calmly walking forwards. Garvin was doing his usual acrobatic maneuvers and chucking his knives away. Doc mysteriously was running about with a cloth and bottle, trying to reach a large man in a worship apron, which if anything, didn't fit him. Bonnie was there in the middle of the street in the midday sun, she lashed her whip onto something behind the carriage, then shifted all of her weight backwards, but this didn't work because all of a sudden, she was flying through what little air I could see, in front of the carriage. My eye had to see what was the cause. Glancing around the corner there was a selection of men dressed in workmen overalls, I had to duck back in every now and then in case one of them to a shot at me, because I had to put all my head out to see. When I had a chance to get a proper look, I could see a man who had a ripped shirt, trousers and vest trying to bash the hell out of Bonnie. This was the same size and description of the men that had ambushed us at Hyde park all those moons ago.
With my hands fumbling in my pockets for my knucks, I psyched myself up, with faster breaths, I was going to have some fun. Both knucks on, I went around the corner, keeping low to avoid gun fire. When I was in arms reach, I did a full arm and shoulder swing with my right fist at his back which was facing me. He definitely heard me, still with the whip wrapped around his wrist, he turned round, dropped Bonnie, stretched his back out like a gorilla, clenched his fists and let out a great big roar. If he was trying to shake me by doing this, it didn't do anything; “That doesn't impress me” I told him straight. With both arms after the other, he swiped at me, while I dodged and weaved. I was just beginning to think, this guy was slow in the head too, but then he changed pattern and uppercut me. I went into the side of the carriage.
Shaking my blood in my head, I got up using my right hand, my knuck scraping the ground. I turned my head to the right and rolled my dizzy thoughts in a anti-clockwise fashion, the relief as my neck cracked. With both knucks on, I put my fingers together, palm of the hands facing towards me and cracked them as well. Now fully recovered, I focused on my hit. He looked pretty annoyed that I had shrugged that hit off. “Come on then” I taunted, he took the hint, and continuing the gorilla similarity, hobbled forward with his knuckles swaying inwards alternately, whilst slavering everywhere from his shouting. As I went to meet him, I was careful. How do you outwit a bear like the ones at the zoo when they charge, wait for the split second, dart to the side so you can grab there leash around their neck. In my case, the leash was Bonnie's whip around his right wrist. So staying to his right side, he was stupid enough to do a sweep giving me his wrist with the lashed whip. As soon as I could, I held it and ducked his two slow but forceful hits, wrap his arm across his chest so his right fist rested under his left cheek and used the excess leather to wrap around his neck. With my execution set up, my arms buried between the shoulder blade, I could feel the heavy breathes of the beast behind directly above me, struggling against the leather. Feeding the whip through both hands, I pulled with all my might downwards. I felt the strain in his back as I pulled and pulled with all my might. The once great roar was quieting to a small raspy choking sound. Closing my eyes to aid with the taught whip clawing at my hands, I could feel the man try with his last few breaths to grab me with his other arm to no avail. Resting in his back crook, I could feel the heartbeat slowing, his strength lessening.
I opened my eyes, he was slumped over, was it all over so quickly. I regained my stepping as quickly as I could after all I was likely to be shot at, but I had a flesh barrier at least. I was still holding the rope, when I was searching his slumped body on his knees. Then I thought, he's still on his knees... a great breath came from the man, both hands were clenched around the whip end this time, and a low deep laugh erupted from his chest. Before long all I knew was winded on my back, on top of the carriage and I hit my head on one of the brass rails for the luggage.
The bastard had fooled me and when I was pondering he threw me. But I didn't know this until much later. From what information I am told, there was a carriage chase, where some more men from Night Watch arrived and Morag was yelling for everyone to get in the carriage. Challenger was wounded but was healed afterwards. Doc was especially worried about me, because she thought I would fall off the carriage, so she made a valiant attempt to climb on top of the carriage and save me, in the process losing her medical bag, but a syringe of morphine held in her mouth whilst straddling the roof but I was asleep and not wounded. The loss of her medical bag did help us as Garvin chimed in “Well it made a bump on the road for their carriage to go over and slowed them down a bit” Doc still upset for losing her pride and joy didn't take kindly to this comment, screwing her face up as she checked up on us both in the medical centre.