Ring the Alarm
You know those nights where you toss and turn and just can't sleep or you have a feel of impending doom? That was every night in Zavith. Even with the experience of 16 years living here I didn't feel any safer. There was never a "safe" place especially in the heart of the Catacombs. Sure a long time ago when the First's moved here to escape war they were civil, but it had been a long time since that. I sighed sitting up higher on my Peg. A pun me and my gang had made on a bed and the poll that stuck out of the Zavithen street that we used to sleep in when it wasn't light enough to make it to a safe house. Zavith was always nuteral in temperature and for us that was good. Out of Daewind and Tredawn, Zavith seemed the safest for now since the Circus was far away.
The Circus by the way was a place for every drug dealer and ahem "Waiting Lady" to get their business. It was also run by my sister Charade who was a top "Waiting Lady". I ran the day I turned 13. Being in that freak show was just too much for me. In Zavith I had my boys and that was better than the "family" I left behind.
One problem though. Zavith just seemed too quiet tonight and that meant one of two things. A really big trade or a really big shoot out. Either way it was best to get the guys further in. Even without the lights on, it was better to be caught then dead.
I shook Bale awake first. He had NightEyes too so he could see in the pitch dark like I could and he could help me wake the others. "Hey were moving again I don't like it". Bale didn't question he knew my instincts were good with my paid Enhancements. I was one of three who worked in our group and good thing I got into a good job building parody versions of animals out of Old World parts for New World work. In the Cats aka Catacombs, it was a big black market which meant drugs and other illegalities of the Old World everywhere and anywhere as long as you had the Rings to pay for it.
Bale went for Darcy and Brae so I woke up Calcifer. He blinked open his black eyes and shot up in defense but quietly. "Don't worry were just moving I don't like the stale air..". He looked at me unsure and I knew he was worried about moving around after hours with the Dogs out but we had gotten past them so many times. "You sure we can't wait till morning Vin?" he sighed as he packed his measly belongings. "Yea i'm sure" I said as I stood on the edge of a Peg waiting patiently for them to get their stuff. "It's crackling here".
They all gathered their belongings silently before looking to me. "Do you think we can try to go to the Ringmaster for help" Brae suggested quietly. I glared at her though I doubted she could see with her normal vision. "Whats one of our top rules Brae?" I said through clenched teeth. "D-don't trust the Ringmaster" she put out shudderingly. Calcifer put a hand on my shoulder and I realized there was gathering in the middle of Nozira square. Too late to move now. "Down" I hissed and they hit the deck like trained little soldiers.
I couldn't hear the words between groups but I saw guns and that's all I needed to see. "If this blows open we head for The Colosseum alright"? Bale looked at me confused "But you...". I looked at him pointedly. "You got any other ideas brainiac..no? Ok then shut up and let me do the thinking". The moment fire spit we split. I jumped 20 feet from the Peg to the ground sticking to shadows and didn't need to hear the feet behind me to know they were gonna make it. We always made it.
I didn't look back to the loud bangs and tried to drown out the shouts. I'd seen enough death for a lifetime I didn't need to witness these ones.
I almost made it to the bridge to Tredawn before I was grabbed out of the street into a narrow alley and started to yell before I saw a dogtag. This was a Dog..crap. "Why are you out so late huh Vintage"? I looked around for my crew but they had dipped like apples in caramel sauce. Good. "You see that crap back there it's world war 6 man give me a " Wait how did this guy know my name.."...hey!". I hit Brigade as he started to laugh.
"Your smooth as sandpaper Vinny what Dog would know your name". I shrugged but gave him a quick hug. "Anyone who had Charade's Blacklist you know there just her good little laprats". He smiled "She's still looking for you" he prompted as he led me to an old fallout shelter type door. "No shit I'm the most wanted and the least to want to be wanted". He stopped me putting a hand on his head. "Word twisting Vin". I laughed "Sorry".
He led me quickly to where he worked, slept and lived. In the Steamworks it was hot but it was safe. We knew everyone here but we weren't supposed to be here because we weren't Steams we were Electrolytes half human half Electrics. If we stayed to long we'd seriously mess up our wiring. I found my team and warned them to be careful before letting the wander the Works.
Brigade handed me a can of tuna with a smile. "Long time since I've seen you around these parts". I sighed starting to slurp the tuna down. "Well when the War Front moves into town you ship out right". "So whats the Whisper this week" I asked taking off my bullet vest and walking farther into the Steamworks. "War" he mumbled. I laughed. "When isn't there war". He sighed sitting on a work bench close to a warm furnace "Against Charade and Columbine". I choked on the tuna. "My sisters"?!
He nodded stealing some tuna "The Circus vs The Colosseum its been in the Whisper for weeks. "When" I asked. He looked at me sternly. "You aren't going to enter are you". He knew me and my sisters had bad blood and I took up any chance to cause ruckus in the Cats. "When" I demanded. He sighed "The next Festival but Vin I don't want you in this...It's just too dangerous. There talking about making the loser leave Zavith and going topside". I looked into the furnace. "Leave the Cats...". He threw the empty can of tuna in the furnace "Don't go Vin ...". I sighed and turned on the workbench to sleep. "I'll think about it". He got up with an annoyed but expectant face and ruffled my hair. "Alright".
I rolled my eyes and got up as my kids came back to me and Calcifer slunk behind looking less than esteemed to be here. "It's so hot" He complained snuggling up to me and I rolled my eyes opening a panel along the wall to reveal blankets and pillows. "Yeah I know but it's safe Cal and that's what they need for tonight". He just nodded solemnly and helped me hand out the sleepwear. "Are we going back tomorrow cause I think Darcy is out of hairbands." Brae commented lying on the floor with her brother. I just nodded laying down as Calcifer laid next to me "Yeah" I whispered. I didn't know though...it was starting to get dangerous on the outer ring.? Comments? Concerns? Till next time - Twisted
A/N : Dogs - A military grade soldier created to patrol, 'protect', and preserve the Catacombs.