New Sake City
"Ladies and gentlemen's! tonight do I have a spectacular bout all planned out for you!"
O'rang smoothed down his hair and let a smile break out on his face. This was it, the big show; nothing could go wrong, he planned everything for this night-every single detail down to the placements of the seats, nothing could go wrong, he was sure of it.
"It's almost time folks, get ready for in a short couple of minutes we will not only have our very own champion on this canvas but we will also have...an ex-GLADIATOR!" the hair he just smoothed back flew all over the place as even he couldn't contain his excitement. he couldn't believe this was happening even now an ex-gladiator coming to fight in an underground bare-knuckle fight? simply unheard of, yet here he was hosting it!
The crowd is screaming and if not for O'rang's anomaly no one would have heard his announcement at all. Most people would see this as a step away from a riot but to the regulars this was a normal night, but even they had to admit the upcoming fight was making it more ecstatic.
Backstage in one of the rooms, past and behind all the fanatics, a conversation was taking place.
"So, you're telling me that I have to stay here? even after Jagger fights? you're joking right?" the expression said it all, eyebrows raised, lips tight-the word annoyed comes to mind. The woman in question was light-skinned and was standing at five foot-nine inches, curly blond hair with brown roots that looked like it was purposely messy flaring out and down giving her this sort of mane-while still looking regal. Smooth skin that held no blemishes besides a single tattoo peeking past the sleeve of her grey shirt that clung to her build. Her amber eyes stared into the reflection of sunglasses; waiting for her response.
"Yes, you have to stay, yes even after Jagger wins and no am not joking." was the reply from the shorter woman, eyes masked behind sunglasses and the rest of her face set in stone. She was pale and stood five foot-four inches with long black hair with short curls at the end with a braid on the left side, a fringe overlapping the top of her glasses. Pale skin that stood contrast to her balck attire, a lean body type hiding just how quick and strong she was while her hands were riddled with light scars that were only visible under the right light. Looking up, she stared through her sunglasses at the opposing pupils.
"For fucks sake, I can't stand this place it's too loud."
"Only because you're used to silence."
"You don't have to give a remark every time Ruby."
"I don't but I will" The now revealed Ruby's voice replying monotone as possible.
A sigh escapes the woman's lips as even though the comments were unneeded, she knew Ruby was talking to her to keep her distracted which was needed. She let her eyes wonder into the corner of the room where they rested on her longest family member, Jagger one of the fighters for the night. She did not want to stay here any longer than necessary, she needed to make that clear.
"finish this fight as quick as yo-"
"Miss Halia are you and your guest ready to be taken to your seats." a voice muffled through the door. Before being opened and an employee stepping in.
why knock if you're just gonna come in? the now named Halia thought to herself, she stood up and gestured the employee for one moment. Halia smoothed her clothes and made her way over to Jagger. She lent down and whispered.
"Ground rules, finish this as quick as possible, as clean as possible, no anomaly and most importantly no getting hurt." She met his eyes and that was all what was needed, she stood back up and squared her shoulders. she made her way to the employee and gave a signal for Ruby to follow.
"We're ready, show us the way please."
"Of course, this way please."
Before the three left the room, Ruby looked back and locked eyes with jagger and a mutual nod was shared between them. With that Ruby closed the door behind her as she left. Jagger sat up straighter once the door was closed and rolled his shoulders before continuing to wrap his hands.
Back to the ring with Mr O'rang
"And now, the wait is over-wipe those tears away as now all you need to do is watch!" O'rang's voice still heard over the shouting easily eased down, while he brought his hand up to his ear and spoke into an ear piece, anxiously waiting to have the thumbs up for the ring walks, he quickly checked his watch and smiled; 10:25pm right on time. A minute passed, before a smile once again graced his face-he inhaled deeply before saying,
"First! we will give our guest the gift of seeing our champion first!. INTRODUCING our champion, coming in at six foot-four inches and weighing in at an even 204lbs; with a record of 42 wins and 0 loses, Karl "The Iron" Bjorn!" O'rang took a deep breath and prepared him- self for the next ring walk, while Karl made his way to Steps.
Karl took in all this attention while walking to the ring, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. A gladiator coming back down the ranks for no reason was mental but to Karl this meant that maybe this guy couldn't hang or is lying? Doesn't matter anyway Karl's head was in the game. He made his way to the stepefore stopping to look around the medium sized crowd, he took it in one last time before focusing on the task at hand and making his way into the ring.
"There he is! Look at all that muscle, this ex-gladiator better watch out! And now it's time for our challenger!" he took a deep breath before continuing. " COMING in at a huge six foot-eleven inches and weighing 289.6lbs; with an unknown fighting record, Jagger!" O'rang wiped the sweat away from face as he locked eyes with Halia in her booth and smiled at her, thankful for bringing this cash cow.
Jagger walked past the curtain and was met with deafening boo's but this didn't matter to him, he was told his objective. His long brown hair pulled into a long braid with his medium length beard usually hand combed beard was neatly smoothed down without a hair out of place. Both arms full of tattoos with some of the scars that were on his back coming up his shoulders and over ruining some of the inked art. Light brown eyes lasering forward keeping his target in sight, he paid no mind to the crowd and walked up the steps build getting in the ring and calmly going into his corner.
O'rang waited a second for the crowd to die down before gesturing both men forward and letting the mildly looking drunk referee explain the rules. Now seeing them next to each other; he was a little worried about the size difference between the two but O'rang had faith, Karl had a winner's mindset; and his help with preparation.
"Alright, I want see a mildly dirty fight but not too dirty ya hear me? No shots between the legs and no hair pullin'." the ref coughed and slapped himself before carrying on. "if ya don't heed my warnin's then ya have bout three seconds before I hit you for ignoring an official. The most important rule tonight boys; No anomalies at all, if you so much as think about it - I'll disqualify ya no second chances." besides looking like he has downed over thirty drinks, that last statement was spoken with the authority of actual referee.
O'rang was leaning on the apron and already thinking about the money he was counting after this, when his eyes caught movement which he focused on.
why is leaving her booth the fight hasn't even started yet, this Jagger person is her fighter surely, she wants to see the outcome? Questions kept appearing until he was tapped on the shoulder.
"Mr O'rang, miss Halia has said she would like a word with you."
"She can't wait? this is a big night." what could she possibly want? this was completely unexpected and O'rang did not like it one bit.
"She has specified that she wants to talk as quick as possible."
He held in a sigh, gave his thanks to the employee and made his way past security and briskly made his way down the halls and past the food vendors to his office. desperately wanting to finish this fast and get back to the money show-that he had planned for WEEKS. He walked past all the confused staff and marched up to his door, he fumbled with the door handle before walking in; seeing Halia and her bodyguard? doesn't matter, let's just get this over with was all that occupied his mind.
"What is all this about miss Halia? are you sure this can't wait?"
"Yes, am quite sure, I'm here to talk about my winning's"
"Winning's? what are you talking about? I understand you placed a bet but the fight has only just begun." Checking his watch and trying his hardest to not come off as rude.
"Yes, my winnings, I want them handed over to me as quickly as possible." Halia's face never changing even with O'rang's confusion.
"Surely you understand that I can't give you anything until a victor has been decided and even then, Jagger might not even wi-"
His reply was cut off by the phone on his desk ringing. This was not going to plan.
"hold on one second please? What?.....fuck off, you're fired.....what do you mean it's over? it just started!.....this is a terrible joke Steven.......you're serious?....." he looked to Halia who still had the same expression but even he could tell she was amused.
16 seconds. 16 seconds is how long the fight lasted. This was not supposed to happen, he planned everything and he made sure Karl got whatever he needed to make sure this wouldn't happen. He flung the phone across the room and watched it smash, he leaned down on the desk and lifted his head to bore a hole through Halia.
"You knew, you knew this would happen! I planned this for weeks and y-you told ME that this would a good night for us!". Sweat had begun to form and hair was slipping out of place which was making him more irritated.
"Actually, I told you that this would be a good night for ONE of us, so let me reiterate-give me my money now."
"if you think am given you so much as a fuckin penny, you're very fucking wrong!" he sat himself down in his chair after his piece and kept his head high for this staring contest.
Halia clicked her fingers, Ruby stood from her position and the temperature in the room started rising. Halia crossed her arms and cocked her hip while Ruby walked past her and made her way to the desk.
"Woa-woa-woah! no need for a power show!" O'rang was very slowly reaching under his desk for his gun. There wasn't a chance he was beating someone who looked to be an elemental. he needed his gun for this to go his way. "Alright fine-fine, I'll get your money... let me call my assistant." he waited for the sign of acceptance but didn't receive any, so ever so slowly he reached for his desk phone with his other hand. He picked up the phone before springing out of his chair, gun in hand and finger squeezing; eyes clenched shut. Nothing. no noise what so ever this couldn't be right, he definitely pulled the trigger.
He slowly opened to see that the barrel was bent back at him, he let go with a jump and fell down -back banging against a bookcase, out of space. He quickly brought his head up only to see the gun being melted and distorted before his eyes before Ruby tossed it aside without a worry. She slowly walked forward and stood in front of O'rang, she burst into flames before she condensed them into more smaller flames, and offered a hand down to O'rang. When he didn't take it the flames got bigger, setting a few things on fire like the corner of the desk and the paperwork but she once again she lowered the flames and wiggled her fingers in a silent challenge.
O'rang shakily lifted a hand and hesitated before gripping Ruby's hand and instantly recoiled from the heat but alas it was too late Ruby had his hand in a death grip. He screamed with tears welling up in his eyes before shouting.
"OKAY! OKAY! OKAY! p-please stop, I'll get your m-money I promise!" he stammered out desperate to get his hand back.
"No" was the laid-back response from Halia, who was checking her nails.
"I want twenty percent more for the attitude and how long would you say he has before Jagger arrives Ruby?" she questioned.
"40 seconds and counting." Ruby answered back.
"So, Mr O'rang what will it be?" Halia once again throwing a question out.
"Your mo-money I'll get you ALL your money I promise you! PLEASE let g-go!"
Ruby looked back and Halia waited a few seconds before nodding and just like that O'rang's hand was released back into his panic'd attention. Some parts of his skin distorted and red, he tried to collect himself but he couldn't get all the pieces and ended up staggering to his feet and nearly falling back down; catching himself on the bookcase. Just as he managed to collect himself the door was opened and Jagger walked through door, ducking ever slightly to let himself in as normal as possible. He looked at the situation before carrying himself over to stand behind Halia, who promptly relaxed and uncrossed her arms before speaking,
"Stop the fires please Ruby."
The fire that were starting were clearly whisked away the only remnants being charred wood and burnt fabric, she too also brought her self over to stand behind Halia and now all three were just looking at O'rang before Halia started.
"what's going to happen is very simple, I will wait here for our money and after ten minutes you have a minute before you quickly figure out what I can do."
O'rang whimpered and nodded while agreeing before quickly getting the phone he dropped and making all the arrangements.
6 minutes later.
"well that easier than expected huh?" Halia asked while holding a briefcase and enjoying the sights of the city, finally happy to be out of that place.
"Could have been easier if you just ordered him." Ruby retorted
"where's the fun in that...So Jagger how was the fight?" after not getting a remark from Ruby decided to change topic.
"ah I see, boring? oh well. I'm gonna give Croller a heads up that where on our way." Fishing her phone out her pocket she quickly began tapping away before sending a message and pocketing her phone.
The three walked through the ally's and made their way onto the streets, the lit-up signs of shops and food stands lighting the way along with the street lights as they walked past. The sound of rain and distant chatter could be heard all around, with the added scents from the stands being wafted out giving the area a nice feel compared to the falling apart warehouse that they came out of. They walked along, past everything and before they made a turn, leading them done a street where all the houses were boarded up bar one. One could hear frantic shouting from inside the house as they neared, which caused Halia to look back at Ruby who in turn shrugged. They walked closer to the house and waited for the shouting to start again, they didn’t have to wait long,
“Get ‘ere ya little shit! I'm warning ya!” was what was heard this time in the house.
Halia walked up to the door and knocked, while she tried not to laugh at the more panic’d sounds coming from inside. After a couple of seconds, a man in his late thirties holding two cats opened the door and relaxed upon seeing who was here.
“Fuckin ‘ell lass, give me a heads up before coming back next time well ya’.” he huffed, moving to the side to let them all inside before stopping Jagger as Ruby quickly walked off into the living room and handing him the two cats, who in turned calmed down and then went on his toes to whisper.
“I’m beggin’ ya Jagger, train them or somethin’. Wee devil’s the pair of ‘em.” he begged before realising that he was ignored before he even started, Jagger off in his own world with his cats; he sighed.
He closed the door and walked down the hallway, the walls rotten and roof full of water damage, to the kitchen the floor creaking all the way. Halia was sitting at the table checking over the left out paper work. He walked to the fridge and grabbed a water.
“Ya want anythin?”
“No, thank you.”
“And please give a fella’ a warnin in future.”
“Croller, check your phone.” Halia replied, very amused at where this was headed.
Croller raised an eyebrow and grabbed at his pants before realising that he left it on the counter, he turned around and picked it up. Halia laughed at the groan that escaped Croller’s mouth at the discovery of the text.
“look lass, it's those God damn cats, distracting me at every turn.” he tried to explain himself, but once again he was being ignored.
Halia was way too busy laughing, the guy who held the highest IQ and was their doctor had been useless against a pair of walking fluff. She continued laughing for a minute before calming down a little, she leaned back and smiled.
“Really? Little Cupcake and Candy giving you a hard time?” Halia was close to laughing again but stopped herself.
“look ya’ don’t understand lass, they’re evil, pur-” Croller sighed and massaged the bridge of his nose before continuing. “Back to the matter at hand, did tonight go well?”.
“Yup, got twenty percent extra to.” Halia replied, the amused smile still present, which grew with Croller’s impressed whistle.”
“Do I want to know? How ya got it that is?” Croller asked.
“Just business, albeit rude business but still business.”
“Ah, makes sense. Figured the prick would be to lost in himself to see the outcome from the start. He still among the living?”
“For now. I think?”
“what do ya’ mean ya think?”
“Well we got the money and left; anything could have happened from then till now.”
“fair enough. So much it tha’ case anyway?” Croller leaned forward and took a sip of his water.
“Forty grand give or take, extra included.” Halia paused when Jagger ducked the kitchen, the cats on his shoulders, to see who it was before carrying on. “It should do for what we have in mind, how quick do you think you could set a meeting up the Woods family?”.
“Depends, depends on if they feel like it or it. I have nae control over any of that.”
“True, true; just do you what you can we’ll go from there.” Halia stood and gestured for Jagger to follow before walking out and down the hall.
“I’m going for a walk.” her voice spreading throughout the house as she grabbed her coat and opened the door for her and Jagger.
Before closing the door, Jagger took Cupcake and Candy off his shoulders and placed them in the hallway only for the two to meow but Jagger just put a finger to his lips and closed the door behind him.
Grightle - a small city that seems to always be in the middle of a rainy season.
“welcome rookies! Today we will be going over how to utilise your anomaly to your standards and for those who have hearing problems, we will put your powers to the hardest test today.” spoke a gravelly voice.