The orcs filed out of the small storage room and began clearing floor space. The two goons that held me restrained, walked me out of the way as the other orcs created the arena. They cleared a fifty-foot diameter space and even swept debris clear. The orcs lined around the outside of the circle and began chanting.
“Morntok, Morntok. Morntok.”
My two captors escorted me to the makeshift arena. I looked around the cleared space and tried to come up with an escape plan. I am strong and thanks to my gifts my strength is beyond that of your average human. I also spent a number of years as both a soldier and an officer of the law; it is not through cowardice that I was looking for escape. It was simply the fact that I did not know if I could beat Morntok. Sixty or so orcs, both male and female, surrounded the cleared space. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder; all green skinned and heavily muscled. Somewhere in the crowd a drum was being played and the orcs began to chant. I scanned the area looking for Brill, but I didn’t see her anywhere. I did not think that the blow Morntok gave her would have put her in any real trouble, but her absence concerned me. I saw off to my left, the gnome scientist Rictus had brought the kid out of the room.
My captors held me in place while others removed my coat, vest, shirt, shoes, socks, gun belt and goggles. I stood there in just my slacks and sweat. I’m not a small guy, as I said I stand round about six feet in height. I weigh about two hundred sixty pounds of natural lean muscle and all wrapped in olive colored skin and chest hair. Part of my parent’s gift, excessive body hair. Morntok stood on the opposite side of the arena. He was a monster, seven feet four inches in height, five hundred pounds of pure orc muscle. I mean his muscles had muscles; hell his muscles had chest hair. He smiled a crooked toothed fanged smile at me as he handed Lucy off to one of his goons. He tried to bore a hole through me with his beady black eyes while he stripped down.
My two captors released me with an aggressive shove and I walked the circle and stretching and flexing my muscles. I loosened up my joints, cracked my neck and breathed deeply. I’ll admit I really wanted to do this. One could say it is a part of my nature to enjoy a good fight. My gallant hero self image was screaming for retaliation for the offense on Brill’s person. Family or not you do not hit girls.
“I owe you one for that bullet.” I told him.
“You have balls, little human. I’ll be sure to make you eat them once we are done here.”
We circled one another sizing each other up. He made the first move, charging forward with a one two punch combo. I dodged the two blows and returned with a straight-arm jab to his jaw. He blocked the jab with his left forearm and grabbed my arm with his right. He flung me across the arena effortlessly as if I weighed no more than a sack of potatoes. I sailed through the air for a brief moment, landed hard and slid along the stone floor. I rose to my feet with a roll, hate in my eyes. My anger threatened to breach the surface. I took a deep breath forcing the beast back down. I nonchalantly dusted myself, took a fighting stance and smiled. I had no intention of letting him see how amazed I was by his strength. Morntok huffed and puffed, and I swear, was on the verge of popping a blood vessel.
The large orc charge at me again, swinging is his massive arms with heavy blows, intent on cracking my skull. I dodged in and out of his long reach and hammered blows of my own into his shoulder joints. He grunted in pain, growling he seized me around my waist and tried to squeeze the life out of me. I let out a roar in pain and squirmed my arms free of Morntok’s monstrous vice grip. I hammered mighty elbows into his skull until he tossed me across the arena again. I landed hard with rolled and ended up barreling into the circle of orcs. They kicked me back into the arena. I heard the pop of a rib breaking. I shuffled to my feet holding my left side briefly. Morntok shook his massive head and stared at me with pure hatred.
He came at me again this time with quick short jabs. His massive fists, each the size of my head, hammered into my forearms. I faltered and he caught me with a stiff jab to the right jaw. I went down again seeing stars. I couldn’t believe how quick he was for his size. It was almost unfair. I could hear him walking around the arena gloating feeding off the praise of his fellow orcs. I coughed up some blood and spit it on the floor. The pain rattled its way through my body. I shook it off, not letting the other side out. Morntok turned back to me and lifted me up by the head as easily as you would a child. I hung there, my feet barely touching the ground. He said to me, “I hope it was worth it little man. I have to pay you respect for surviving this long, however I have set an example. So you, you will not be walking out of here.”
I choked up a laugh. “Oh, it’ll be worth it tonight, when your sister is licking my wounds,” I taunted him. I closed my eyes and let some of the beast in. Sudden clarity washed over my body, my sight became clearer, my sense of smell became more precise, my strength redoubled and the pain dulled to a forgotten memory. I was told later that my eyes shone a little as I taunted the enraged Orc Boss. Before Morntok could react to my words, I punch him hard in the inside of the elbow. He released me reeling back supporting the elbow. I rolled around and swept his legs from under him. He hit the ground with a loud thud and a gasp as the wind was knocked from him. I rose to my feet swiftly and with a burst of renew strength; I punted the five hundred pound beast across the room.
He did not get more than a foot off the ground, but he slide into the wall of orcs on the other side of the arena a good ten feet away. The whole room went silent, even the drummer paused mid-beat. I breathed heavily, while my muscles throbbed with energy. Morntok rose to his feet, disbelief in his eyes. He worked his elbow around a bit and rubbed his stomach where I had kicked him. He grimaced at me from under his deep dark brows and growled a deep low growl. The beast within returned the growl, just as low, just as intent and just as menacing. We collided once more like crashing tides and exchanged punches, elbows and knees.
I dodged under another blow and hammer a pair of bone breaking blows to his rib cage. Morntok retaliated with a double hammer fist blow to the back of my head. I fell to one knee, brain rattled and stars in my eyes. I could feel Morntok reaching over me, to pick me up. I punched out my right fist and hit him squarely in the family jewels. Yes, I punched him in his manhood. This was a street fight, no honor amongst thieves. If you’d seen what I was up against, you would have done it too. The huge brute buckled over me, growling in pain. I lifted his five hundred pounds of orc meat in a fireman’s carry; I spun around once and stared each orc in the eye as I did it. I slammed Morntok’s massive hide to the floor cracking the stone beneath.
I did not let up on my assault; I seized his arm, wrapped his wrist in a lock and lay across his body in a rapid motion. His arm and shoulder between my legs I pulled hard till I heard the satisfying pop of a shoulder dislocation. Morntok screamed in both rage and pain. He grabbed my right leg with his free hand like steel clamps and pulled me off of him. He tossed me aside a few feet, I rolled a few times and rose again then stumbled. My ankle was wrecked, forcing me to balance nearly all my weight on one leg. Morntok charged at me his right arm hanging limply at his side.
I stood there in a guarded stance with as little pressure possible on the wounded right ankle. Morntok swung at me with a wide left hook. I shuffled back just out of the strike point. I wrapped my arms around Morntok’s outstretched limb. I shifted my weight pulling on his shoulder. My ankle gave way and I collapsed. Instead of dislocating the shoulder, the momentum drove his face into the stone as we both fell.
We lay there barely moving for nearly a minute. I got to my feet and pulled Morntok to his knees. I struck him in the face, and then I stuck him again and again and again and again. I don’t remember how many times I hit him, as my hands went numb at some point. Next thing I remembered was the orcs pulling me off him. They were telling me it was over, and pulled me back to the opposite side of the arena. My hands were covered in blood, both my own and Morntok’s. I heard a scuffle from the other end of the circle. I looked up dazed and saw Morntok battered and bruised face staring down at me with Lucy in his hand.
“No way this little human lives,” he said with a gruff voice, blood running down his ruined face.
A bolt of searing hot blue white lightning streaked across the arena from above and behind me. The bolt stuck Morntok squarely in the chest and sent him flying twenty feet in the air. He slammed hard into the wall at the opposite end of the warehouse. His body fell lifeless, a smoldering pile of broken bone and flesh.
“I think it’s time for new management.” Brill said from the staircase holding the storm caller rifle in her hands. She ratcheted another charge as she walked down the stairs. “Anyone who has a problem with it speak up now, so I know whom to shoot next,” she declared in a sultry voice.
I looked around, coming out of my haze. No one seemed anxious to take Brill up on her offer. She walked over to me and placed a shoulder under my arm. We walked over to the Kid and she eased me down next him. An orc handed me my clothes and Lucy somewhat cautiously. I’d never seen an orc show any sign of fear. I took my things and looked over to the kid, “Hey Kid,” I said. “ I’m Marcus. I was sent to find you.”
The kid looked at me with bloodshot eyes, the poor little guy had cried himself dry. He tried to speak, but his voice was wrecked from all the wailing and screaming. I got dressed while the orcs untied the kid. I looked up to Brill, “Hey… um… Thank you... I… don’t know what to say.”
“Sweetie, that was long overdue. I don’t know why I did not do it sooner. What on earth were you thinking smashing through the window?”
“That whole gentleman’s code and all. I got a bit mad when I saw him strike you.” I said
“Are you hurt bad?” she asked concern both in her voice and eyes.
“A few broken ribs, broken ankle, headache the size of the founder’s tower. I’ll be fine though the healing has already started. Time to get the kid out of here.” I said in a strained voice.
“Ok, sweetie we’ll take you.”
“No, it is ok. Our ride should be waiting outside.” I grunted
With some effort and help I got fully dress. I turned back to the kid and I outstretch my hand for him to take it. He looked at me for a moment wearily and then hesitantly took my hand. Together we walked out of the warehouse into the bay. Well, he walked and I limped. Brill had one of her goons; as they were now, open one of the large bay doors.
“Are you sure you’re going to be OK, Sweetie?” Brill asked with a worried look on her light green face. “I have some healing potions back in the office. I could have one of the boys run and get one.” She insisted.
“I’ll be fine,” I reassured her. “ I heal rather quickly. I just got to get the kid to the docks before my client discovers that I have recovered him.”
“Do you think they know that you located him?” she asked.
“I honestly have no idea. I was hired under the guise that the kid was kidnapped for blueprints by unknown kidnappers. Turned out the kid had run away with his super nanny and happened to be abducted by Morntok.”
“Well here, take this card. It has my home address on it. Thank you for the presents, sweetie.” said kissing my bloody cheek. “Intend to show you how grateful I am.”
I took her card with a wince of pain and a smile. “You have my word.”
The kid and I limped our way out of the warehouse and into the rain. I gave the kid my ivy cap to shield him from some of the falling water. A few moments later a beaten up old Demeter pulled up in front of us. Tanis stepped out of the car and the kids eyes lit up. He ran to her without hesitation and buried himself into her arms. Somehow, the kid managed to find more tears and cried silent tears of elation. I stood there quietly and gave them a moment. After getting thoroughly drenched, I got in the passenger’s side of the car and summoned Tobias. He picked up on the first chime. I told him about everything that happened and that we were in the clear for getting out of orc country.
He congratulated me and asked me to congratulate Brill on her self-promotion. He told me to keep him posted if any new developments arose. As I closed the connection, Tanis and the kid got in the car. “OK Tanis, we are in the clear through orc country. Brill’s in charge of the gang now.”
“That is an interesting development,” she said as she pulled away from the warehouse.
“I’m sure my face shows exactly how interesting. I really should pick my fights more wisely.” I grumbled
Tanis navigated the streets and got us out of orc country. The kid was fast asleep, curled up like a cat in the backseat. I laid back, left out a deep breath and closed my eyelids. I let the sound of the rumbling engine, the falling rain and the clicking wipers washed over me. I exhaled again and began to let sleep take me as well. That is until someone decided to ram our car.