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[FIC] Not All Damsels [FIN]

Adrian Moss

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Not All Damsels …

Raider and Smoke cruised near the middle of the pack. They were grinding off the concrete barrier and half-walls like they owned the place. He was wearing his ‘Do My Own Stunts’ T-shirt. Smoke was wearing his ‘Beam me Up, Scotty!’ which was, of course, bright red. Hammer was with them, but only attempted half as many stunts. She was clearly off her game tonight.

Ollie and Peanut followed along behind. They attempted easier stunts, but the group could tell that under Ollie’s guidance, Peanut was attempting more and more difficult moves. Rasp was up front. Someone had given him a rough time and he was sulking and burning off some anger. He hadn’t told anyone what was going on. Goldie was not with him though.

Goldie hung just behind the main group, mind lost on something else. She stayed just ahead of Ollie and Peanut, but her heart wasn’t’ in it. Had Reider been more emotionally on the ball, he would have put Hammer’s mood together with Goldie’s and known it trouble. As it was, he was a hero and heroes didn’t run away.

They had stopped by a set of steps of a corporate complex. An office building full of insurance types and lawyers was on one side and a Bank was on the other. No cops were around and the bars were just getting ready to put their patrons on the street. It was time for them to break up and make their way home. It was always the bittersweet part of being in the group.

Peanut left first. He claimed he had a paper to finish for a class. Hammer had to leave because of an early class and Rasp was definite hurting as he left. When Smoke made ready to leave, so did Raider. It had become a tradition. Raider was uncomfortable without the presence of his equally quiet leader. Ollie was hanging around just to be near Goldie. He had a crush on her, but pretty much knew he had little chance. Goldie hung around saying nothing, which was unusual.

Raider was leaving when Goldie rolled over to him and took his arm.

“Raider, can I have a minute.”

The big blonde idiot looked back at her with trepidation, but he did stop. Smoke stopped leaving too. Ollie looked over his shoulder, but with a small sigh continued on.

“Raider, I … Smoke, could we have a moment,” she asked their leader.

Smoke moved a little bit away, board popping up when he finished. He had moved as far away as he was going to. Reluctantly Goldie accepted Smoke’s move and leaned in closer to Raider … which only confused Raider more.

“I have a friend in trouble,” she began with a whisper. “She is being plagued by this Monster.”

Now Monster was a word that could reach through his hormone addled mind and register his hero instincts.

“Monster,” he mumbled the clearer, “I fight Monsters.”

“Oh! That’s what I told her you would say,” Gold gleefully spoke as she hugged him. Raider stumbled off his board and held his hands around her (by accident) but not touching her.

“I will show you were to go. I’ll take her to you … I mean, take you to her. You’ll kick this guy’s ass and put him in his place.”

“You don’t want me to kill this Monster,” Raider asked confused.

Goldie missed how serious he was. Instead she hugged him again and said,

“No silly. I think you can just beat him up and teach him a lesson.”

“But I’m supposed to kill monsters,” but then he smelled her hair and hormones took over. “Okay, I’ll just make the Monster go away.”

Goldie pulled away.

“Come on. Let’s go see my friend Abbie. She can tell you all about this guy.”

Goldie was pulling away and Raider made to follow her when Smoke came up and took him by his arm.

“Not all monsters are men, right?” said the normally silent leader. “Not all men are monsters, no matter what they’ll tell you tonight. Be safe man.”

He patted Raider on his shoulder and popped his board down. He was sliding off into the night. Raider followed Goldie, his head trying to make sense of what Smoke had given him.

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The cruised south going from the office buildings and shiny apartments, through the town homes and into a more run down section of town then things go worse. An hour had passed and Goldie was showing fatigue.

“Are we close?” Reider questioned. He was becoming more and more the hunter as his senses warned him of a more dangerous climate. Consciously he couldn’t tell the difference, but his instincts were alive and kicking.

“We are getting there. My sis – Abbie is in an old train station nearby. That’s were she hangs out when she’s … not in.”

Reider nodded and they continued gliding through the night. Both couldn’t help for popping a few ollies and dodging the occasional car. Goldie even laughed a little. Finally they arrived at the train station. Goldie was worrying her lip.

“This way, Raider; Abbie is rather rough, but you are here to help. Don’t let her scare you because I think you can solve her problems.”

“Uh, okay,” Raider responded wisely.

They worked their way inside. Reider’s eyes adjusted well to the gloom, but some of the darkness defied him. When they were in a bit, Goldie called out,

“Abbie, its Goldie! I brought another friend.”

Reider flinched. The sound carried in the cavernous building and he wasn’t sure if the noises he heard were people, bats, or rats. It soon turned out to be a bit of all three. The people were the most interesting. The walked with a certain edge of barely restrained violence – a feral air. As they drew closer Raider could make out a woman and two men. All of them had pistols in their belts. They were feeding off the unsettling vibe of trouble that emanated off Reider.

“Tory, whatchya done, brought another boyfriend so I can kick his ass?” the woman said.

Goldie flinched.

“No, he’s not my boyfriend, nor was Rasp. They are my friends. I’m just trying to help you,” she pleaded. “I just want to help.”

“He’s bigger and better looking, but he can’t fight. He’s another skater-punk,” the woman, Abbie, sneered. “I guess you want to see me kick his teeth in, just like I did to ‘Ass.”

With some Herculean effort Raider figured out that Ass was Rasp and this was the reason he had been messed up tonight. He took a step forward then checked himself. The three took a step or two toward him.

“I don’t want to fight you,” Raider said, holding up his hands, and his board. “Fighting you would be wrong. I’m here for the Monster.”

“You can just stand there then gorgeous. I’d hit you with the stupid stick, but someone beat me to it. Now …” and she struck out with karate kick … hitting nothing. Raider was already on the move. He put his board into the face of the goon on the right, poleaxing him. Abbie came around with a roundhouse to Raider which he blocked while the goon came around and tried (and failed) to tackle him.

Raider hit the second goon in the back causing him to stumble past. Abbie countered with a savage palm strike to Raider’s throat. Again he wasn’t there. The goon swung at Raider’s side while he was trying to move around Raider. He got nothing but air and was surprised to see Raider moved away from Abbie and blocked his move. He punched the goon in the face, breaking his nose and dropping him to the ground.

Abbie took the distance to do a running kick, barely missing. Raider caught her leg, put his other hand on her throat and squeezed. Abbie’s eyes bulged. She punched Raider and got the experience of hitting unyielding flesh.

“Now, before I break you, where’s the Monster.”

For a moment he stared at her then realized she couldn’t speak. He relaxed his grip on her throat and she gulped in a mouthful of air.

“Okay, okay, I’ll take you to him. I swear.”

Raider released her slowly so she wouldn’t fall. He remembered from watching two girls dancing on the stage and ending up in a similar position. Letting her drop would be wrong. Meanwhile, Abbie’s eyes were watching him speculatively and there was a spark in her eye. She was already past being upset about beating up her guys. She was trying to think of the best way to take advantage of this weapon Fate had placed in her minds.

Both of them realized that Goldie/Tory had been crying and cringing while the fight had been going now. She was now holding herself and looking at them both with fear.

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They crept through the night cat quiet. She led the way to the Monster’s lair. She was also thinking about him. She was going after the bastard without the other two members of her gang. Not only had they had their asses totally kicked, they weren’t great at sneaking around. Not like this guy. He made her feel clumsy.

She also considered why she wasn’t finding this all insane. For some unknown reason, Raider felt dangerous, kind of like you thought a hailstorm was dangerous. It didn’t kill you, but it did fuck up your life. He looked so young and too pretty for this kind of work. He looked vague familiar, but she couldn’t place him. He also didn’t take a gun, but instead opted for a baseball bat. When asked if he was afraid of guns, he grinned in a non-idiotic fashion.

They came upon the Monster’s house. His name, she informed him, was Marco and he was well-built with curly black hair and a dark complexion. He would probably have ten or so members of his crew with him. Her crazy plan was to come into the place, going room by room taking out the sleeping crew and then finish off Marco. It had nearly no chance of success, but … but Abbie had a feeling it could work. If not, she wouldn’t have long to regret this mad impulse.

They found a window open in a dark room in the back. About half the rooms in the house, all two stories of it, had lights on and there was still noise coming from the place. Of course the window was on the second story and there was no easy way up.

“Get on my back. I’ll carry you,” Raider told Abbie. She looked at him dubiously, but he did it no problem. She climbed in first, spotted the sleeping man and woman in the room. She signaled Raider for quiet as he came in. He nodded, walked calmly over to the man in the bed and smashed his face with the bat. The man was a goner. Even Abbie was shocked by the violence coming so calmly. She approved.

The followed up for a few more rooms until the caught a guy coming out of the bathroom. Abbie didn’t think Raider was close enough to stop him, so she shot him. The house came alive. Abbie pulled her companion into one of the rooms whose occupant was ‘asleep’.

“We’ll jump them in the doorway when they bunch up. I’ll get behind the bed. You get behind the door.”

He was like a whirlwind. Were they stabbed or shot, he was not there. His baseball bat fell down, breaking arms and smashing skulls. She struggled to keep up and all she was doing was guarding his back. When the few survivors started to run, Raider pursued them.

‘Damn, he moves fast,’ she thought in the blink of an eye. Fortunately for her, she was slow enough not to run into the automatic weapons fire. Suddenly she figured she had lost him. No one could have survived that. She peeked around the corner and reached for her pistol.

Reider had been caught in the hallway. Marco himself was holding the smoking MP5 and grinning. She was aiming for a shot on him when Reider suddenly moved.

“Ow, that hurt,” the young Scion said. “I’m going to have to fuck you up for putting holes in my vest.”

Marco lowered the submachine gun, a look of awe and anger on his face.

“You’re one of them,” he exclaimed. “Fuck!”

The gun came down, but was too slow. Reider was up on his feet and on top of him before he could react. The bat came down, but Marco swerved it out of the way. Marco stepped back and fired a hail of bullets again. Raider rolled under the burst. Abbie only saw him start the roll before she had to duck behind the wall to avoid the spray.

She heard more bullets going off. She knew Marco was tough, but not this tough. His crew scattered and he was standing up against Raider who was the scariest person she had ever met. When she dared look out again, Raider and Marco were going at it knife and bat. Reider swing a chop at the stomach, but Marco took it. Marco’s counter hit Raider’s arm but only left a white scar. The next swing revealed part of Marco’s magic. He had a bullet proof vest on. Raiders blow ripped his shirt open.

The singled again. Marco saw his opening, but Raider’s instincts were still on the job. The bat came down with a satisfying crunch on Marco’s right shoulder. Marco switched the knife to the other hand. When Marco lunged again, Abbie understood the game. Every time Marco would lunge, Raider would counter attack … and the idiot’s game was working. They dance once, twice more then Raider landed a crushing blow to Marco’s chest. Marco went flying. The knife tumbled from his grasp. Reider was on him in a flash, hovering over him.

“Monster, this is your only warning,” Raider hissed. “Get out or I’ll come back and finish you … again.”

“Okay, okay. I don’t want to fight you again man. This isn’t what I signed up for.”

Abbie walked down the hallway toward the two men, gun in hand. She listened to Raider’s feel. A kinder woman would have felt sorry for him. She was feeling just fine.

“Abbie, we are done here. Let’s go back.”

“Just one minute. I need a word alone with our friend Marco.”

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Raider nodded and headed out the window they had come in by. The click his sharps sense picked up made him turn around. Abbie was pointing the gun at Marco’s head. Raider had just assured himself that she was threatening him when the gun went off and Marco’s brains painted the wall. Raider ran back down the hallway.

“What was that about? I thought we were just going to warn him,” he pleaded. “I don’t understand. You said you wanted to talk with him.

“I talked to him with a bullet, moron. Let’s go.”

Raider turned to go back down the hall, his shoulders slouching in confusion. He ached to be back out the window and into the cool night air. Abbie cleared her throat once, and then again. When Raider turned back around,

“Use the door, Slick. We can use the door.”

The door was open and the night air was cool. Abbie walked down the street like she owned it (again). Raider put his confusion about the death of Marco the Monster on hold, as he knew there were a few men who still wanted to kill him out there. By the time they reached the train station, it was a dull irritation that made him want to be back home. Maybe he could talk to Sapphire. She could make sense of all this.

Abbie gathered her two goons and headed out into the night. She was planning to take over Marco’s crew, she said, and take back her streets. No half ass soldier boy would drive her out again. Raider left with Goldie heading the other way. He was sad and confused. Goldie was both relieved that her sister would still be alive come sunrise, yet frightened of her because deep down she knew how cold and heartless her sister could be. She also felt bad for using Raider like this. She didn’t know a way to make it up to him and he looked so down.

“Raider, you okay?” she asked after a while. She didn’t know what else to say. Raider turned and looked at her, his expression going from pained to angry. Goldie flinched as if she was physically slapped.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” she pleaded as tears began welling in her eyes. She’d have nightmares about what Abbie had Raider do. She had visions of people dying in pools of blood, completely missing that neither Raider nor Abbie were covered in blood.

Raider turned away and kept skateboarding north. Goldie had to direct him twice when he turned the wrong way. That seemed to upset him more. Once they were in familiar territory, he turned west toward home. Goldie watched him leave, tears now streaming down her face. She had abused a friendship and abused the trust of her crew. What was she going to do?

Reider made his slow way back home, paying little attention to the dawn skies. He didn’t care that he was up late. He didn’t care what awaited him at home. He didn’t realized that Sapphire might, just might, be worried about were he was so late. He barely said hello to Vjorn/Bob when he came in. He felt unworthy of the dog’s affections. Reider came in to find the back area devoid of people. It suited him. He didn’t want to struggle through another set of awkward social interactions.

Sitting on the stairs, Reider struggled on alone to make sense of the death of Marco. He felt really bad about it but was unsure why. He grappled with it mentally but was unequal to the task. For not the first time in his life, he felt stupid. He had an answer. She would know. She was smart. Reider climbed the stairs, knocked on the door and waited. A melodic female voice called him in. She knew it was him. Who else would knock and wait at this time of day?

“What’s wrong, Cuz?” she greeted him. Instantly she could tell he was worried and depressed. She set down her accounting work and motioned him over. Her accountant would help her make sense of this later. Her family needed her now. Sapphire waited for him to speak.

“Someone died tonight and I think it was my fault,” Reider said forlornly.

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