A Dark City

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A Dark City

Postby Clast on Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:42 pm

Somewhere, deep under the cover of night’s heavy cloak, there is a murder. It is not unlike any other death in this vast city, a single soul snuffed out amid the hustle and bustle of midnight’s streets. Let it come from a mugger’s knife, or the last gasp of the bedridden, death is a part of living and at some point in time, he will point his finger at the fallen and decide whose time it is. He is not kind, this grim determinant, yet he is not cruel. The choice is not his, and he does not delight in his work.

No, the death of Helery Kline was not so different from any other, that night, of Scileday, Fifth of Jurus. The time was half past three in the morning, when three solid pieces of lead soared through Kline. Each shot travelling at speeds too fast for the eye to catch, too fast to even move. They traveled on a plane above the living, the newborn hands of death, which would bring about his will and judgment. The word is newborn, for never before has a life fallen to something so terrible as what befell Kline. Yet, it was no different from any other lost life, a single moment of pain and anguish before it is stolen away by the inevitable. Another candle goes out.

For Helery Kline, she was away, and beyond help, be it mortal or not. The first of the three sailed through her lower abdomen, rupturing and length of intestine and tearing through her lowest rib on her left flank. The second, through the middle of her sternum, shattering the bone and pulping her heart. The last, launched after the girl had already bled out, travelled through the skull, grinding, shredding, rending what was once living to little more than crimson ichor. And Kline was gone.

Footsteps left the grisly scene, and hours later, another set of footsteps left strayed near. The first set was likely the killer’s, heavy and slow paced. The second were the tight footed steps of Edard Prike. At the crossings of Takk Street and Cee-Line Avenue, he watched from an alley, nearly a block up from death’s latest pick. Sharp slits of eyes swiped the area, zipping from one Anduruna Shock Trooper to another, assessing the gore spattered curb. Barriers had been set up to block the incoming swell of on-lookers, eager for any glimpse of the mutilated victim. Kline herself had toppled over in her death onto the side walk, staining the concrete path crimson and black. A waist-basket had been knocked aside by her flailing arms, and old sheafs of newsprint surrounded her, soaked in her slowly spreading blood. The crowd gawked like idiotic scavengers.

Prike was scum, underworld scum, and proud of it. This kind of grisly death was nothing new to him. In reality, not much surprised him anymore. The only reason he had joined in with the group of numb parrots crowding the already depressing streets of the Calypsa district slums was his own connection to the deceased, and the district. Nothing but thieves, whores, and scum lived there, whatever you said. The brackish water seeping in from the swamps to the North could even be seen, sliding down hills, and spreading from gutters thirty years past useful.

He gazed out from the dark crevice he had latched himself to and watched as Anduruna guardsmen swarmed the remains of Kline, spreading out their complicated tools and folders, searching the body, and generally ****ting their time away. The crowds pressed closer to the body, hoping for a view while simultaneously shying their young brats away from the scene. As if they couldn’t already see. Prike knew this kind of person, someone who hoped desperately that they could find a balance the corruption that was this city. Prike personally never saw the point in it; there were skeletons in everyone’s closet. Prike’s thoughts billowed in light of this.

Speaking of which: Helery Kline. Maiden name: Tasset. Prike had heard the name before. She was twenty-nine years old, used to be a prostitute up in Margate district. Along came a spider, as they say, and she was taken in and cleaned up by some fat man from the Tower. He was the rich kind of fat, the type’s that has a real attractive wallet, something for a looker with no morals to dive into. Tasset became Kline, and they were happily married for two years. Then, disaster struck, in its usual way.

Six months earlier, the fat-rich man came to Prike, asking for him to find his lovely little wife, who had run off in the night. Prike does his job; turns out she had a lovely little affair. With a Major in the Anduruna Shock Troops, no less. They met at a ritzy party and things just went wild after that. Anyway, the girly gets teary-eyed, apologizes to the husband, they walk home happy. The Major disappears into the ranks and political turmoil, and Prike gets paid. Everything ends well.

Now, six months later, the girl is dead. Why? Prike always follows up on his jobs. It was his policy. If anything could get traced back to him, he’d be up to his knees in legal ****. And that, he wanted to avoid. He’d have to take this into his own hands, cover it up, close off loose ends, make sure he stays little more than a shadow, nothing more than the background.

That was what Prike did. He was a Jobber, is what he called himself. He was that little bit of darkness rich men turned to when they needed something done that had to stay out of the public eye. He’d made smuggling runs, killed Shock Troopers, broken into bank vaults, snuffed out loose ends…

Another candle has to go out. He’ll have to do some digging.
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