::when everything means nothing:: [Geebs] Feb 14, 2019 3:05:57 GMT -5
Post by Stanley Schuster d8m [Charade] on Feb 14, 2019 3:05:57 GMT -5
Sebastian clenched and unclenched his fist, looking at the scraping on his knuckles. He’d gotten into a fight with another vagrant over who got to sleep in the abandoned shack. It had taken him several more punches than he’d have liked to get the message across, but get it across he had! And, he’d even taken the other guy’s shirt. It fit well enough; maybe a little tight around the armpits until he had cut the sleeves off, but you had to take what you could get. The other guy had parted with it eventually. That was the problem these days. No respect. Sebastian blew out a sigh. If there was ever a sign that he needed to get a new crew together…
He rubbed his hands together and rocked on his heels. In the old days, he’d never put much thought into the kind of people he had in his gang. It had been enough for him for them to be loyal, and to know how to get their own food. His ideas of becoming a king, of ruling the alleyways had never really come to fruition. The farthest he’d gotten was taking over another gang, and then, then he’d fallen in love. Love was a poison, he decided. A drug. Nothing else had mattered to him but her. They would rule together, but first he had devoted all his time and energy to her. It had been euphoric.
Then, then it had killed him. Or rather, they had dressed her like a Capitolite and then killed her.
That worthless, good for the nothing waste of space from district one had decorated the field of battle with his beloved Zanita’s blood and brain matter, using a flamingo shaped mallet of all things. Sebastian thought his heart had stopped. Once the initial shock of the absurdity of it all had settled, it had given way to rage. Pure, and unbridled. Oh how he had caused a scene in the district square that day, screaming bloody murder, loudly proclaiming that if that Lumiere son of a bitch managed to win, he’d kill him. He’d cut off his head and shit down his throat, he’d cut his tongue out and force-feed it to him, he’d kill him, bring him back to life and then kill him again.
He didn’t know how long he’d carried on like that before collapsing to his knees out of sheer exhaustion, his throat raw from screaming and his face slick with the tears that had been streaming down his face. A couple days after that, he’d contemplated sending himself to join her, ending his life in a hail of bullets on a suicidal charge at the peacekeeper outpost. He’d even climbed to the top of the justice building with the intention of throwing himself off of it. Both times, his hand had been stayed by the memory of her face. Her voice. Knowing that she’d have killed him herself if he did something so asinine.
She’d want him to do all the things they had dreamed of doing together, of that much he was certain. He couldn’t besmirch her memory by throwing his life away. It wouldn’t solve anything. It was because of her that he hadn’t just stabbed fancy-pants in the alleyway and taken his stuff. Benedict, he reminded himself. It was why he was willing to listen to this job offer. If it was lucrative, then he could use the funds to start a real operation, something bigger and better than the street gangs he’d run with as a teenager. The black market? The thought of being a gun runner or a smuggler was appealing, more appealing than being a pimp in the red light district anyhow; though he couldn’t rule that out either.
No drugs though, that was his only rule. Drugs and alcohol deadened the mind, dulled the senses. Just look at how close Benedict had come to dying the other night. Yes, that was the one facet of the underworld he would have no part of. He had the muscle, he had the smarts, and he knew enough people in the business to have connections of a sort. Tangential maybe, but it was better than nothing. Sebastian sighed and pulled out the photo of the red-haired girl that the beanpole had given him. Who was she to him, he wondered. Was she his Zanita? His queen? Was she lost to the sands of time as well?
Or was she in the district but out of reach?
Sebastian had taken great pains to keep the photo from coming to harm, it was a talisman of sorts, his ticket to a better life. A reminder of what he’d lost. A low, rueful chuckle worked its way out of his throat. He had no pictures of Zanita. Anytime he wanted to see her, he’d have to watch reruns of the quell, and that was not something he particularly wanted to put himself through ever again. Even if some days he found that he couldn’t remember the way she smelled, or the comforting presence of her head on his chest.
Goddamn them! His hand was shaking and not because of the temperature.
He had no idea what had happened to the rest of the gang over the years. Dead was a good possibility. An extended stay in the detention center was another. Sebastian closed his eyes. What made a good gang? He’d need enforcers. People that knew how to fight. Runners to work as pickpockets, informants and the like. Maybe an attractive working girl or three to run the old honey pot scheme. His discussion with Benedict came to mind. Bodyguard. A protection racket? Claim some turf and defend it from all comers, keep the people that lived there safe.
It could work.
But he was getting ahead of himself. Someone was coming towards his lurking spot, and he was pretty sure that it was
in fact, the man he was waiting for.
“Kept your photo safe ah, mister benedict.” Couldn’t hurt to be polite. Man seemed like he was on the up and up, and he hadn’t even sic’d the peacekeepers on him for an attempted mugging.“So, lay it on me. You're the man with the plan.” He said with a grin, finding himself surprisingly eager to see what would happen next.