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Fists of fury

Posted on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 @ 10:28pm by Comm Tech Wulf Edevane & Executive Officer Kenneth McTigue
Edited on on Tue Mar 31st, 2020 @ 10:48pm

Mission: The Forgotten Arm
Location: The Broken Airlock Bar - Amstrong City - Luna
Timeline: About a ~month since Wulf joined up with the Tross

The Broken Airlock was a sailor's bar in the traditional sense. Rough, rowdy, and loud. It was a large square box with very few windows, and even less hygiene. The bar was a corner affair of stained steel plating filled with high pressure tabs, bulbs seated on it by magnets, and more variations of liquor than you could shake a stick at. Ken, Mickey, and Wulf had found a table in the back and were enjoying a few beers as Allegra and the Captain were finishing up some business.

"I gotta go use the head," Wulf said, briefly interrupting the lazy conversation between the other two. "I'll get the next round in on the way back," he promised, then ducked off into the crowd.

At the far end of the bar, Wulf waited his turn while the mess of people around him jostled and shoved and he kept his head down and his mouth quiet. His turn had been skipped twice before Wulf cast a gaze in the general direction of Mickey and Ken. No, he decided, he'd handle this himself. Hand terminal in one hand, the tech leant over to tap a passing bartender's sleeve and someone grabbed his butt.

"Hey!" Wulf complained, turning around to face a thick-necked short-arse sailor and his two mates. One was definitely a Belter, he towered over the comms tech and leered. The third guy looked like an Earther who'd been dining on protein and not missing any reps.

"Hey pretty-boy," said Thick-Neck. "You're almost as cute as that fancy terminal of yours."

Tall-Belter leaned in close and showed filthy teeth in a tattooed face. "Come out and play," he said, emitting a low chuckle that gave Wulf a spike of adrenaline.

"How bout I buy you guys a drink?" Wulf offered, realising that he was in the midst of a thickly packed group here, with no chance of muscling his way out.

Earther gave an upward nod to someone else out of Wulf's line of sight and he felt all three of them move closer still. "I think he's flirting with us," Earther said, and he leaned forward to pinch the tech's cheek. "Are you coming on to me, kid?"

"Hell no!" Wulf backed up into the bar and tried to see past them to no avail. He held his hands up as his heart began to race and Tall-Belter moved in closer, grabbed a handful of shirt and twisted.

Ken was enjoying the last dregs of his whiskey. It wasn't Earth-made, and especially not Irish, but it still contained alcohol and had hints of peat. Then he spotted the clump of people at the bar. "What's going on there?" He asked Mickey, but spotted Wulf in between the clump before Mickey could ask what he was talking about. The engineer got off his chair and stepped closer, more curious than worried as he stepped next to the Earther. "Everything okay here...?" Ken asked curiously.

"Yeah man," returned the Earther, breath thick with rum as Ken moved closer. "We're all good."

Behind him, Tall-Belter put a long thin arm about Wulf's shoulders and pulled the younger man in close against his side. Wulf stamped down on the man's foot, and ducked down to attempt freedom as the Belter howled in pain. Thick-Neck regarded Ken. "Nothing to see here, buddy."

"You say that. But that's my shipmate there, and I don't think he appreciates being treated like a piece of meat." Ken said with a shrug. "So why don't I take him off your hands, and we can all go on with our business." Then Ken looked past the Thick-necked man, "Let's go Wulf."

Surprise and gratitude coloured Wulf's expression as the Tross' engineer spoke up for him. He didn't hesitate though, and took a step closer to Ken. Just one. Then the Belter grabbed his shirt to pull the tech back, and Earther and Thick-Neck fronted up to Ken.

Two things happened at the same time in the next moment. The first was simple and non-violent.

"Let him go," said a loud voice from over by the door. Another Belter, this one stocky, with bright red hair and a Martian - the one who had spoken. "Deet, let him go."

The second was a reflex action. Wulf's elbow rushed backwards into the first Belter's belly, hard and fast. As the man folded and let go, Wulf rushed forward to stand behind Ken. "Thanks," he said, his breath a rush of air.

"I think we'll be heading back to our table now." Ken said, pushing Wulf back further towards the table, and Mickey.

Wulf allowed himself to be guided across the bar, but he couldn't resist flipping the little gathering the bird behind his back as they watched. "I didn't get the drinks..." he muttered.


Several rounds, various conversations and some time later, it was inevitable that Ken would need to visit the bathroom. As he stepped out he felt a heavy hand on his collar, and a quick kidney punch followed up close behind. The smell of that rum on one of his assailant's breaths was unmistakable.

As if they were carrying a drunken ally home, the two manhandled Ken out the exit and threw the engineer to the hard ground. Thick-Neck cracked his knuckles and Deet, the Belter, threw in a kick. "Should have just minded your own business," he said. Laughter rumbled from the sidelines, and Ken could count three more distinct souls in the mix.

Ken's head bumped over the roughened concrete, jarring his mind into the kind of focus he used to have. The sort of focus that had been drilled into him. He pulled himself up to his feet and gave the five people around him a good look. They looked physically capable. A few had quite a bit of muscle on them, a scar here and there. "My crew is my business." Ken said and rolled his shoulders a few times. "I'm pretty sure you guys think this is going to end a specific way. But I think it's going to end differently." Ken rolled his neck, creating a popping sound before he lowered his center of mass. "I think it's going to end with three destroyed knees, and at least one eye missing."

Rolling laughter sounded from three of the gathered men. "Sure, bud," said Thick-Neck. "Bring it on. Five against one here. Just learn your lesson like a good boy."

The two Belters moved in first, dropping into fighting stance and tag-teaming into play. One went left around Ken, one went right, light on their feet, fists raised up to protect their faces. Red-Hair swung wide and high. Deet aimed for a leg sweep.

Ken turned and stepped into high swing, turning on his feet in a circle to grab Red-Hair's arm and extending Red-Hair's momentum while Ken himself lowered his weight to guide the arm down towards Deet. Holding on to the arm, Ken threw Red-Hair on the ground on his back and stepped over his shoulder. Standing there, Ken locked his grip on Red-Hair's wrist and used his hips to create a momentum, snapping the wrist with a nasty wet sound.

Red-Hair screamed like a banshee, and writhed on the ground, arm clutched against his body. Deet's expression darkened with fury as he got back up to his feet and charged like a bull. The Martian leant against the wall of the bar by the door and observed quietly whilst turning any other interested parties away. There weren't many, most were deep in their cups right now. Thick-Neck cracked his knuckles again and stretched out his arms, circling about in the murkier arc behind Ken's back. Earther heckled from the sidelines.

The heavy footfalls clued Ken in, and he turned around in time to raise his fist to collide with Deet's nose. Ken followed that up by turning fully around and slapping Deet's both ears with the palms of his hands. Finally Ken's right fist connected with Deet's chin for a solid right hook.

Blood spurted out from the Belter's nose, droplets and mist clouding the air between the two men. His ears rang with the clap of Ken's palms and his eyes glazed just a little, while his arms reached out to grab about Ken's neck as he fell forwards. Then the fist to his chin connected, pushing the taller man backwards with a crunchy sound and a low moan. Deet flailed some, but remained upright. He lurched forward again, one hand holding his nose, the other grabbing at Ken's clothing. A knee shifted upwards towards the engineer's crotch with evil intent.

Ken couldn't avoid the knee and doubled over in pain onto Deet as he was pulled down. It took a long moment before Ken's mind cleared enough that he saw the looming shadow of Thick-Neck standing over him. That got Ken a kick in the stomach. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, and Ken was able to scramble away from Deet's prone form and put a few meters between himself and Thick-Neck to get himself on his feet again.

Out of breath, Ken grinned. "So, you're the fucker who's going to lose an eye?"

Deet tried to pick himself up as Thick-Neck faced off against the now risen again Ken. He clicked his head to the left then right and formed lazy, relaxed fists. "Don't think so, old man," the short, chunky man stated with a sly grin. "I think you're getting tired." He beckoned for Ken to come and get him, arm extended now, palm up, fingers curving back in a challenge.

Ken came in with his fists raised to guard his face. The first jab from Thick-Neck was high, but sloppy, aiming for Ken's head. Ken moved his aside as he stepped into Thick-Neck's guard and landed a dirty upper cut to his stomach. Ken then took a half step back and kicked sideways, straight into Thick-Neck's knee. This again, created a sickening wet crunch and Thick-Neck collapsed onto one knee.

"Bastard!" said Thick-Neck on an exhale. He rose up, pushing on his good knee and unwilling to give in just yet and bearhugged Ken about the waist to try and pull the man down with him.

Ken pushed his thumbs into Thick-Neck's eyesockets and pushed as he was pulled down.

They rolled together, but the cries of pain were definitely louder from the short guy with the Tross engineer's eye-gouging on point. Thick-Neck's good knee supported him long enough that the man managed to wrap his meaty hands about Ken's neck, though. He squeezed as hard as could while trying to shift his own head backwards.

Ken positioned himself over Thick-Neck. He saw the edges of his vision darken and his chest start burning. Ken pulled Thick-Neck's head towards him, straining against the man's neck before letting the head go. With all the strain Thick-Neck was creating, his had bounced against the concrete.

As Ken's adversary banged his head, Deet found his second wind and leapt on Ken's back.


It wasn't often, if ever, that Wulf went looking for someone in the men's bathroom. He'd been harbouring a little paranoia since that encounter at the bar and Ken's welcome rescue. Twenty-five years the tech had survived by mostly dodging out of physical confrontation, by being smart or lucky or absent. He was definitely a ... not a fighter.

So when he found Ken was neither in the bathroom or at the bar, Wulf called in Zee's help and covertly tracked the engineer to the rear of Broken Airlock. Through the back door he could hear the faint sounds of a fight, but he didn't hesitate. Opening said door, however, led Wulf right into the blocking arm of the Martian, who looked down at the tech and sneered a grin.


The Earther and Deet double-teamed it. Deet piggy-backing with an aim to strangle, though his full weight was being thrown about by a rag-doll by the tough engineer. The Earther weaved about in front of Ken, aiming punches into the fray while dodging his buddy's flailing legs.

Two punches to the gut made Ken angrier than he had been before. The darkness around the corners of his eyes were making their return. Ken stopped trying to block the punches, instead taking a few quick steps back and grabbing Deet's wrist and twisted it with both hands, pushing the thumb under the hand and continuing the rotation into a very painful lock that Ken leveraged with both hands to push through its resistance until that too broke.

Deet wailed like a cat dying in the dead of night, his scream split the half-lit alley like a verbal knife as his arm splintered and Ken dropped him to the ground. Earther literally banged his chest and barrelled into the engineer with all his weight, head and fists hitting first. He pushed Ken backwards until the man's back thumped against the bar's outer wall.

"Ken!" Wulf's voice cut the night. "You got this!" That was all managed though, before the tech felt the strong arm of the Martian about his neck and fell instantly silent.

Ken socked the Earther in the face twice and pushed him off of him.

"Credit where it's due," said the Martian. "That's your three breaks, tough guy," he added, speaking of the broken bones. "You want me to lose the kid's eye or do you surrender?"

When Ken registered Wulf's voice and saw what was happening he sighed. "Three broken bones, one ruined eye." Ken agreed before reaching behind his back and pulled the compact H&K slug thrower and aimed it at the Martian. "You're a sore loser, friend."

"You say loser, I say arbitrator," said the Martian in his lazy Texan drawl. He didn't flinch as Ken produced the gun. "You fight like a Marine," he said, somewhat rhetorically, as he sideways-arm-around-the-neck hugged Wulf closer to him. "MMC here. Now, we could have a fight, no guns, you and me, your friend here versus my friend," he pointed to the Earther who was rubbing his face but still upright. "You even softened him up."

There was a hard exhale. "Or I could break your friend's neck while you shoot me. I figure you gotta ask yourself, what's more fun?"

"I was happy to fight your buddy here before you man-handled my shipmate." Ken shrugged, but the gun never waivered from target. "But how about this. You let my friend go, I put my gun away, and we three can continue our scrap. No harm, no foul."

Wulf sighed. He wanted to help, but he knew speaking up with a willingness to fight would be a bad idea. It was also incredibly crappy to stand there, feeling useless and be expected to let Ken fight for him. It made him feel weak, ashamed... "I can fight," Wulf said suddenly, trying to sound more certain than he felt. And the Martian ruffled the younger man's hair with his free hand. Then he laughed and acted as if Wulf hadn't spoken.

"Put the gun away," the Martian agreed, talking to Ken and Ken alone. "Two against one? You sure you don't want your little friend on your side?"

Ken dropped the magazine out of his pistol, then racked the slide to release the chambered round. He pocketed the round and put the gun and its magazine on the ground before him, before sliding each backwards away from one another. "Two against one. Hasn't be a problem so far." Ken gave the two rough housers a smile, "Anyone have a preference for what limb they want broken?"

The Martian released the Tross' comms teach, removed the mag from his own handgun, and handed it to Wulf. He dropped the pistol itself onto the semi-conscious Thick-Neck's back and grinned back at Ken. "You're doing alright so far, Dirter," the Martian noted with amusement. Then he added, with supreme confidence. "But you're about to go up against the end of level boss."

Ken put up his fists in a traditional boxer's guard.

Wulf turned his worried gaze on the three wounded combatants. He didn't have a gun, but they might. He moved closer to them, keeping on the periphery of the fight and close to the bar's outer wall.

The Earther stretched, then tensed up, moving to Ken's left and throwing in a couple of attempts at kidney punches, while the Martian stepped lightly to his right and poised ready for an opening as the other two started the dance.

Dodging between the low blows, Ken stepped to his left and in the moment the Earther pulled his fist back Ken's fist reached out and found the Earther's nose in a straight jab. Ken's fists changed places as another struck the broken cartilage to further turn it into a bloody mess.

He kicked out, lobbed in a few more punches, but then wounded combatant staggered backwards as Ken's directed strikes beat down on his face. Earther fell backwards, semi-conscious and clutching his face. The Martian, seemingly unconcerned by this failing in his - ally? - clapped slowly. "Getting tired?" he joked, and jostled from side to side before launching himself into the fray fists first. As he closed the distance, a knee went up sharply angling towards Ken's gut, and the big muscled foe aimed an uppercut for that Dirter jaw.

Both the knee, and the uppercut connected. Ken felt his jaw slam closed Martian's first connected. This sent Ken stumbling backwards, and he tripped over the Earther behind him. He felt the Earther grab for his legs, so Ken threw himself into an awkward backwards roll that allowed him to get back on his feet away from the floored obstacle that was the Earther, and away from grappling range from the Martian. Ken moved his jaw from left to right to left, satisfied it wasn't broken. "Tired? I took combatives classes more challenging than your band of misfits."

"Just the warm up act, buddy," returned the Martian. "Now y'all got the main event." He allowed Ken the time to check his jaw, then beckoned him forward, giving him the chance to try is best move this time. "Hope you were paying attention at those classes," he said, pointedly, watching Ken as the grounded Earther rolled up to a crouch. The wounded man's face was blood, but he wasn't out of the fight yet either, he growled up at the Tross' engineer just in case there was any doubt of that fact, but held back at a signal from the Martian.

On the sidelines, Wulf had scooted round to Thick-Neck's position, and moved to take the gun from the man's back.

Ken rolled his shoulders before lowering his center of gravity a little and stepped forward. His fists were raised as expected, but as he closed enough with the Martian Ken feigned a right jab to the face before shooting a kick to the inside of the Martian's left knee.

The Martian almost didn't fall for it, but as he ducked left and Ken kicked his left leg, he staggered and lost his balance slightly. As he stabilised, right leg taking his entire weight, he found a lower position and went a gut punch. From behind, Earther went for a full-body grab, aiming to lift Ken off the ground.

The sound of the Earther's feet on the ground gave Ken the warning he needed to duck down. Unfortunately that lead him straight into the gutpunch. Ken let himself fall to the left, turning it into an awkward roll away from both attackers before coming back to his feet. Ken's feet kicked against a metal rod, and Ken ducked down to pick it up. It was a solid half meter piece of metal tubing. "I'm getting bored of this." the engineer said before stepping forward and swinging in at Earther's head with the pipe.

Thick-Neck didn't make a sound as Wulf reached to grab the pistol that rested on his back. He waited, silently, until the tech extended his arm and leant down, then the prone man with one remaining good leg, swept that limb outward and took the kid's feet from under him. Wulf dropped to the ground, but kept hold of the mag.

Ken's new weapon swept in so close to the Earther's head that the man felt the chill from the end of that hollow piece of metal. He grinned, and reached out to grab the pipe as it came back around in the engineer's hand. The Martian shuffled left, aiming to get into Ken's blind spot and deliver a coup de grace.

Ken felt the pull on the pipe, and instead of struggling over control of it, he let himself be pulled towards the Earther. This allowed Ken to follow through with a nasty knee to the bollocks. The Earther groaned in pain and let go of the pipe to cradle his testicles. Just to make sure he stayed down Ken sent another knee to the groin, just before the Martian got a chokehold on Ken.

Earther curled up in a ball on the cold ground and gently sobbed. But the Martian definitely had the advantage now, and he made the most of it. He squeezed a broad arm about Ken's throat and caught the engineer tightly, threatening to cut off his air enough to encourage sleepy-time. On the sidelines, Wulf scrabbled to get the handgun before Thick-Neck did, and won that race. Barely. Sat on the ground, the comms tech fumbled the first two attempts to slide the mag in, but succeeded on the third.

A single shot fired up into the air as he squeezed the trigger, hitting no one, but distracting the Martian for a bare millisecond. Wulf flinched at the loudness of the round, and the Earther, slow to move as he was, now launched sideways to grapple him for the gun.

Ken struggled for control by writhing. The gunshot somehow clicked something over in Ken's mind, and he swung the pipe he still had up and struck the Martian in the middle of his face with a satisfying thump. The Martian's grip loosened as Ken struck again, in the same place. This time the Martian let go and staggered a step back, letting go of Ken.

"Uuuuuffff," said the Martian, then there was muffled swearing as he controlled his stagger, held a hand up to his face and checked his nose still existed. His hand came away bloody which didn't put him in a better mood, but he hung there for a second in a sort of confused limbo while his brain caught up with current events.

Then, as Wulf rolled to the side and the Earther grabbed the tech's foot to pull him back towards him, the Martian ducked his fuzzy head down and went for a straight out headbutt. No finesse, but double the aggression. Arms out to the side in an attempt to shove Ken backwards.

Ken's pipe came up and struck the Martian straight in the mouth. The vibration through the pipe let Ken feel the teeth shatter before being bowled over. The Maritan's momentum still bowled Ken over, but at that point it was more obligatory than aggressive.

Something that sounded like X-rated swearwords struggled to emanate from the Martian's mouth as he spat out ivory splinters and shards. He was conscious of one thing, attempting to crush Ken's ribcage with all the strength in his arms and all the weight of his body. They rolled, the Martian's legs wrapping about Ken's in an unhappy struggle snuggle.

The pipe clattered on the ground and Ken's elbow found its way into a Martian kidney, once, then on the second blow the Martian released and Ken struggled to his feet. The Martian tried to climb up too, but with a blown knee was slower. Ken let the Martian get his feet under him before he kicked out the Martian's one good knee out from under him, having the Martian on his face again. "Wulf, how are you doing?" Ken finally asked as he kept an eye on the Martian.

"Not great," came the somewhat breathless response from the comm tech. Wulf still had the handgun, but was deftly dodging back and forth as the Earther tried to get a hold or a hit in on him. A clumsy dance which Wulf was only winning through sheer speed rather than any fighting finesse.

"Matter of time here, buddy," the Earther told Ken with some amusement. He stopped talking and grinned as a tiny little thump signalled the mag dropping from the weapon in Wulf's hands to the floor.

"Fuck..." said the tech on an exhale and the Earther swung high to clock him in the face with his fist.

Meanwhile, at Ken's feet, the Martian groaned, grunted and gushed blood from his mouth all over the engineer's boots.

Ken squatted over the Martian. "Now, you stay down or I'll make sure you'll never get up again." He whispered before straightening and stepping over to look at the Earther winding up for a third blow to Wulf's face. "Now, what am I going to do about you clocking my friend in the face here..." Ken asked the Earther as the big pipe tapped against Ken's leg.

As Ken addressed his attacker, Wulf groggily put his hand up to shield his bruised cheek, a dim concern about black eyes bothering him somewhere deeper in his mind. The Earther reached out and grabbed a fistful of the tech's shirt, pulled him in closer, then turned him to face the Tross' engineer.

"Call it a draw?" Said the big guy, as he held Wulf in that uncomfortable hug.

"How about you let my buddy there go, and I'll hurt you only a little. Or you don't and I'll make sure you'll never be able to smell anything ever again." Ken offered in a cool, matter of fact fashion.

It was written all over the Earther's face, that decision making process, as the pained grunts and tortured sounds of his fallen comrades chimed in with their inharmonious human orchestra. He exhaled, then gave Wulf a rough forward shove towards Ken. As Wulf fell forward onto the ground, the Earther came out of the deal with the gun. Mag still out. A lottery of whether the tech had managed to get a round into the chamber or not before his fumble.

"How about you just go," said the Earther, and he cast a worried look towards the fallen Martian.

Before Wulf even hit the ground, Ken had stepped to the side and front. He positioned himself so that the pipe struck down on the Earther's wrist. The pipe then travelled up the Earther's arm to strike him against the side of the face.

In the blur of motion came the scream. A girlish shriek of true surprise and pain coloured the air as the man fell sideways and collided hard with the ground. He stayed down, head fuzzy, clutching his wrist and he flinched as Wulf's movement caught in the corner of his vision.

"Dude," said the comms tech on an exhale as he knelt upright, wide eyes finding their focus on Ken. "That was kinda awesome."

Ken nodded but stepped over the Earther. The pipe clattered to the ground before Ken put both hands on the Earther's collar and lifted him up. "See, now I have to destroy your nose." Ken explained before dropping the Earther back on the ground. The engineer straightened before landing a vicious stomp to the face of the Earther. The quiet alley filled with the sound of a nose being flattened to the skull.

He then looked at Wulf, "Hand me that pistol, will you?"

Wulf had both hands over his eyes, so he regarded Ken now through the vertical gaps between his fingers. The tech shook his head vehemently no, his assumption that lives were about to be lost.

"Wulf, pistol, now. We can't have it laying around, it might end up hurting someone." Ken said, turning his head to look at Wulf.

Reluctantly, Wulf moved. He shuffled uncomfortably on his knees at first, grabbed the discarded gun and then slowly got to his feet. With a couple of steps that deliberately kept a wide berth of any of Ken's fallen opponents, the tech stopped within an arm's reach of the engineer and adopted a look of a badly kicked puppy. "What are you gonna do?" He asked, voice small.

Ken took the pistol, a grimy, unkempt little semi-automatic no-name brand. He studied it and shook his head. He then racked the slide and the round flew out the side. Ken started disassembling it over the Earther's head, letting the slide fall onto his face. Then the recoil springs, the barrel, the firing group, but not the firing pin. The pin went into Ken's pocket. "Making sure these lads aren't going to do something stupid with it. Now let's get a drink, and see if Mickey misses us yet, yeah?"

With silent fascination, Wulf watched the firearm disassembly, gaze fixated on each piece of the weapon and its fate. He paid particular attention to the single piece headed for Ken's pocket, and frowned lightly. He opened his mouth to ask a question, thought better of it, changed his mind, then reverted back to the original decision again as Ken spoke. Yes, a drink sounded really good about now. Had it been long enough for the XO to miss them? From the tech's view, this had all happened so damn fast.

"Yeah," Wulf nodded meekly, a hand raised up to gently test the bruised flesh about his eye. "Okay." He took a solitary step, then turned to Ken and forced a small, grateful smile. "Thanks," the tech said, voice quiet but strong. "For the rescue." He followed Ken a few more steps back towards the bar, then added. "You think Mickey will be mad?"

"Not when you're the one buying us a drink. Some proper top shelf whisky." Ken said, as he opened the back door.


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