Chapter One - Laide
Laide woke up with the sharp sting of claws followed by a considerable amount of pressure on her left shoulder. Hissing in pain, she roughly shrugged the offending thing off and glared at it.
It was Gun. Her demon cat.
Gun yowled loudly in protest as he tumbled off the end of the tiny cot but somehow managed to land in a crouch on all fours. His fluffy white fur looked healthy in the morning light streaming in from the open window, one golden eye glowering right back at her with matching spite.
Gun broke the scowling fest first, inclining his head regally as his tail swished gently, then meowed and walked over to his food bowl. It was time for his breakfast.
"Still, did you have to put up that much fuss?" Laide demanded, blowing hard to get the messy curls out of her vision as she slowly climbed out of bed to feed him. Gun sat by the bowl, grooming a paw in a clearly dismissive manner. Scoffing, she muttered under her breath, "don't know why I bother."
Her history with Gun isn't unlike any other rescue case. She'd found an abused kitten with a missing eye in a dark, wet alley and took him home with her. However, there's the saying that cats choose their own homes, not the other way around.
After pouring the little monster a measured quantity—she was worried he was getting too fat lately—of his favourite cat food, Laide inspected the scratches on her shoulder with a sigh. They were nothing serious. Removing her prodding fingers, she looked down to watch Gun as he happily devoured his breakfast and couldn't resist feeling a sense of relief.
Laide and Gun had their territorial spats all the time and she detested losing to the darn cat, but she'd readily admit she was extremely glad she'd gone down that alley and saved him. Even though recalling the circumstances which led her there immediately plummeted her mildly pleasant mood.
Laide's cell phone lit up with a text as she was stepping out of the bathroom from her shower. Drying her hair with the towel, she walked over to the phone on her coffee table which was in the same space as the bed, dresser, closet, beat up couch, mini fridge, and kitchen separated from the rest of the apartment by a bar.
The small room held all her basic needs and was where she performed all her necessary activities. She hated it so much, living like some domesticated animal in this little enclosure. But if it was either this dump or the streets, Laide would take what she could.
She opened the messaging app and tapped on the recent text to view it.
(Message from: Unknown Number.)
Let's meet tonight. Same place, come alone.
Received. 07:19 AM.
A curious frown etched into her features. She dropped her phone to start dressing into clothes for the day. Another one of these? Laide had been getting messages like this for quite a while, consistently asking her to meet someone at the same place and time. However, everytime she'd gone to said meeting place, there would be no one waiting at the site. It made her increasingly irritated and anxious in equal measure.
Who was this mysterious person, what did they want? The biggest question though was how much did they really know about her?
She wasn't sure if she was just wasting her time either. She didn't hold much hope that today would be the day she found out.
Laide turned to the full length mirror with a single crack running across it diagonally and marring the image of her dressed in black jeans, a white loose peasant blouse, black leather jacket overtop and ankle boots in the same colour. She pulled her wild brown curls back with a large, skull designed handkerchief.
Her downtown apartment wasn't too far from the Cafè she worked at. It took about 15 minutes to get there on foot if she hurried, so despite being late already she didn't worry too much.
It was one of those rare mornings where the sidewalk traffic was tolerable and she didn't have to make a conscious effort not to bump into people. But of course the one time she noticed and appreciated this, something had to happen to ruin it.
There was some sort of commotion breaking out ahead. Laide's attention was caught by the sound of annoyed protests as people either hurriedly veered off the side walk or were plowed out of the way by a guy being hotly pursued by another.
Laide's excitement at the live action boiled into abrupt anger that startled her as a pregnant woman, who hadn't been able to move away in time, shrieked as she got shoved onto her butt on the asphalt. Another woman rushed to her side to help her so Laide could conveniently focus on the assholes that committed the crime. They didn't even notice, or stop if they had, the lives seriously endangered by their recklessness, and that further infuriated her.
The two men had gone a bit ways from where the scene they'd created was, leaving havoc and a rain of cusses in their wake, making stupid courage convince her to race after them.
What the hell she was going to do when she caught them, or whether she could manage to stop them in the first place, she had no idea.
Just great. After all it was totally like her to die while trying to help a complete stranger.