[M] our days are never coming back

POSTED: Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:33 pm

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Random overgrown basketball court in Halifax, early afternoon.

Sure, Marlowe had said. I'll patch you up.

He was not a proper healer, but close enough to one that Jethro was confident he would be fine after things were over. More importantly than a medic was the camp, though they had closed up and moved again now that the cold was coming.

Jethro didn't recall who had first told him about this place. He might have heard it at the bar, or from one of the people Marlowe had dealings with. It had come to his attention, that was all, and after weeks of idleness Jethro was hungry for action.

Though he had asked Marlowe to join him the older man had refused. He seemed wary about going too far south on the peninsula.

So, with Tobi and Flea, Jethro went looking for the fighting club in the city.

It was a journey that took most of the morning, owing in part to his own desire to explore and in another to avoiding the wide stretch of land claimed by the Cavileri. Though they were said to be a noble sort, Jethro was wary of their armaments and the battle-ready look of their scouts. He strayed to the edge of Halifax.

Jethro smoked while he gave the tomcat strict instructions regarding his waiting time and what he was supposed to do.

...you got that, Flea?

Yeah, Flea!

Right, okay. With some trepidation the blonde turned to his horse. Tobi, I don't think you really got that at all, but stay with Flea.

The horse didn't answer, but the cat meowed again.

Jethro stuffed the things he could not risk parting with into the bundle tied to Tobi's saddle. He had stashed this near the little clearing where he had decided to leave his friends, unwilling to bring them closer to any place of violence. Even if these fights weren't meant to be serious, he would not risk retaliation against things which belonged to him.

On foot he walked down the road, turning ever inward until the scent of others became noticeable. There was a gaggle of them standing around the old basketball court. Though the backboard and hoop were long gone, the metal poles remained. To this there had been mounted all sorts of curious trophies and colorful finds, and each post reeked as person after person left their own mark behind.

The rules were simple – you put your name in, it was matched with someone, you fought them. First person to go down for a ten-count or tap out would lose. The fights would be unarmed, no claws, no biting above the neck. A bet would taken before the fight and the winner would get a percentage of the spoils. Jethro found this agreeable.

He had to wait to fight. Two other groups went ahead of him. It became apparent that the organizers had chosen the rules to keep the fights long – the second bout seemed to last forever, even as both combatants bled from scrapes and cuts left from the ferocity of their match.

When it finally ended, they called him into the pseudo ring. There were only barriers on two sides, though the semi-circle of Luperci watching was a living wall. Both options felt constricting.

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Mel
Luperci Chaos Star stray arrows
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POSTED: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:30 pm

The little bouts in the city had become something organized.

Galilee’s surprise did not last long. Rules were always created in response to incidents as things became more common. She was sure that clubs like this sprang up now and again, like the dives that appeared then closed down again within a week when people got bored. It was her first time properly participating in something like this, something more than a small crew of off-duty loggers and masons that let strangers participate in their roughhousing.

She was into it. She needed to let off the fucking steam after all the stuff Kalypso had said, anyway, because the alternative was waiting around and moping and she swore to God she wasn’t gonna end up like her bummed-out fucking dad —

Yeah, this would be great.

She threw in some uncut, imperfect pieces of seaglass for her wager, sitting down tailor style and planting her palms on her thighs as she leaned forward to watch the fights ahead of hers. She shouted along with the other spectators, jeering and howling as the combatants circled for an opening, counting aloud when someone toppled.

Eventually her shoulder was tapped and she was directed into the center of the old court. She stretched, holding her poses a little long with would-be coy glances toward the ladies in the audience, then turned and planted hands on hips when she saw her opponent.

“Oh well hey, bushytail,” Lee barked in sharp-fanged, mocking delight when she saw the tawny coyote. He looked skinny, and had dark soot smudged around his eyes — made them kinda pretty. She took a note of that for future experimentation, then cracked her knuckles, thinking he’d end up with more black around ‘em soon enough.

A pause, then someone shouted go, and Galilee delivered her first volley of blows.
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POSTED: Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:47 pm

They put him up against a big blonde she-wolf. Of course they had.

Jethro looked up at her, rust-colored eyes outlined by black, and saw her arrogance plainly. The way she addressed him was dismissive. His muzzle crinkled. He supposed she didn't think much of him – she was thick with her winter fur coming in, but sturdy looking.

The coywolf rolled his shoulders.

When the fight started it was all action from the woman. Jethro, though sharp and skinny, was tall for his breed. He moved out of the way of what punches could be avoided, but the first hit caught him high on one arm and left it smarting. The bruise would be tremendous.

In an attempt to break away from the defensive position she had forced him into, Jethro dove from one too-close blow and struck out with his own. He felt at least one hit land and stumbled back towards the fence when she went for his middle.

The crowd was barking and whooping. It was a cacophony of noise that drowned out all rational thought. Jethro could only focus on his opponent and forget about his next meal or the next part of a plan that didn't make any sense. He didn't need to worry about his people, or his missing family, or all the doubts living in his heart.

He didn't think about the absence of God, though he felt this keenly.

Jethro waited for the she-wolf to come after him again before he planted his feet and threw an elbow into her oncoming mass.

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POSTED: Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:08 pm

She enjoyed fighting.

Some might suspect that it was an outlet for sadism (though masochism was closer to the truth), or perhaps a distraction from troubled thoughts, but Lee considered it simpler than that. She liked the adrenaline rush, the feeling of control over a body sculpted for such a purpose. She liked winning, but she liked losing, too, when the stakes were as low as this. She did not become single-minded but sought to make connections and sharpen her mind, seeking openings, weaknesses, alter her strategies.

The coyote wasn’t purely that, but taller and broader in a way that suggested mixed breeding. He was the kind of canine her father would have liked to fight, though Galilee didn’t have the same kind of prejudices despite her sharp-toothed taunts. Those battles had been fought long before she was born, and the only war she knew was an insurrection.

She hit him, chased him, waited for an opening. She used her long reach to her advantage, feinting like she would with her spear. But when she, cocky, came in toward him with teeth bared, he didn’t flee. His bony elbow slammed into her abdomen and knocked the wind out of her with a curse, and in her staggering she aimed to shove him back.

It wasn’t so easy. He seemed like he was ready for her now. Sucking in air between her big teeth, Galilee snapped them and altered her strategy — lunging for him in an attempt to outright grapple and use her superior size, force him against the fence or down on the asphalt.
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POSTED: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:30 pm

The whole world might have been his enemy. It seemed hostile enough.

Jethro had seen very little of the world, in truth, but both home and abroad he had met endless conflict. His brother had a big collection of scars from the first war. Omar hadn't talked about it very much – there was a strange sort of unspoken rule about what things were best left alone, and what had happened to his big brother was one of those things.

Both times, they hadn't talked about it.

This mantra stayed true with Jethro now. The longer he buried his feelings the easier it was to keep things contained. He and Marlowe hadn't talked about Erie or the people they left behind much at all, and this helped immensely.

Having a job helped. Having people around made him accountable for something bigger than himself, and Jethro needed that.

God expected them to understand their sins. His mother had explained this to him as a boy, when he had confessed to her like a priest.

Suffer, was her answer. That was what God had asked of his son. Surely Jethro could understand something so simple.

The she-wolf tackled him with tremendous force, sending them toppling hard onto the ground. He had to get his feet back. If he let her stay on top of him she would smother him. Her bulging arms sought purchase around his waist, but his arms were still free and he used these to push her away. Squirming and kicking, Jethro forced a leg free and swung it over her hip.

She let him go just long enough – readjusting to compensate for his shifting position – for Jethro to get an arm around her throat. If he got her like this, he could win. She wouldn't be able to fight him if she couldn't breathe.

He reached to lock the hold in place and felt the ground fall away beneath him.

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