Wednesday, May 26, 2004

 

Chair Leg Over Miami, part 1.

I was at my tailor's when the call came. Stan's new batch of fabric had survived another night and seemed stable enough for government work; he refused to guarantee past a week of constant use but even that was better than replacing the whole suit every 24 hours. I had just slipped into the fine Strattonester which fit my frame as well as anything from Saville Row when my holo' chimed. Answering the call I was suprised to see the weathered face of my Sifu coalesce in the air before me; I was even more suprised when I realised that he was bleeding.

"Master Chow," I gasped, "what happened?"
"You must come at once Little Gecko..." his voice trailing off as he fought to remain conscious.

Well I didn't need telling twice; I nodded to Stan, shucked on my long black coat decorated with bullet holes from the death of my clone brother, and reached out with my Will. Space and time churned about me like wax in a lava lamp. In much less time than it takes to say it I was stepping into Gambles Den down by Newlands Wharf. The Chinese Restaurant come Casino come Martial Arts Dojo was a complete pigs ear and not of the crispy fried kind either. Sifu was slumped by the Holo' looking like some mad whittler had been having a go at him; which I guess wasn't too far from the truth. I called for an ambulance and knelt beside him.

"Master," I asked, "who did this to you?" His eyes flicked open as he looked up at me.
"Little Gecko," he muttered, "..there is a war amongst the Hire Powers..."
"Master, you are hurt," I responded, "conserve your strength. I will get my answers when you are able to give them..."
"NO! I had heard of her... the Scarlet Harlot... One of our number driven mad.. who has violate her own Nature.. seeking to destroy The Holy... You are Our best student.. you have mastered the Gun-Fu and.. your own nature makes you an Adept of the secrets of the Wuxai. You must go; stop them... They hold the secret of your friend..."
"My friend?" It didn't need two guesses to figure out whom Sifu meant, "what's their connection to Rodney?"

Rodney was a friend in many ways; Maitre'd of the cocktail bar I owned he was also the Hire Power of Bar Stewards. Despite being the omnipotent inhabitant of his own demi-plane he had stuck beside me through thick and thin right up until recently. Suddenly he had vanished; retreated into D-Space and closed all the gates behind him. Something had terrified the eldritch horror and, having seen him wrestle his portfolio back from Bacchus, I knew that he didn't scare easy.

"All will be made clear Little Gecko.. even for you there is little time you must go..."
"Where Master?" He told me. His words filled my senses; overwhelmed my defences and sent me spinning across space-time like a sycamore seed in a whirlwind.

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