Result 11 – Part 1

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You take a defensive stance, blocking the entrance of the alley with your presence and bringing your axe up in front of you in a menacing display. You had strongly considered stepping aside and just ignoring the two of them, but ultimately, you saw no reason to let this guy get away with his theft either. These thieves need to be stopped.

You’ll have to get through me…

You partly expect the thief to keep running and try and charge through you, but instead, he skids to a halt upon seeing you, and darts back the way he came. Behind him, the pursuing man does not react to the change in direction in time as the thief lowers himself and shoulder barges the man in the stomach. The man, being of slightly shorter stature than the thief, is sent sprawling backwards as the thief stumbles for a moment but catches himself and keeps running.

You react quickly by running forward a few paces yourself. You fling the axe and it spins end over end down the alleyway towards the thief. With the alley narrow and the thief running in a straight line, it was a sure shot to get him in his back, but you misjudge your throw and the axe falls slightly short, hitting him in the back of the legs with the end of the handle. However, this is enough to cause the thief to stumble and fall, spilling across the cobblestones as he slides to a halt.

Mentally kicking yourself for your poor aim, you run after him, ready to grab your axe off the floor when you reach it. Up ahead, the thief attempts to get back to his feet. However, he is quickly thwarted by the arrival of the other man who had got up and given chase once again. The man dives onto the thief’s back, pinning him, then proceeds to beat the thief, striking him again and again in the back of his head and neck with precise punches.

The thief attempts to block with his hands and arms and twist and shove the man away; he eventually manages to gain some ground after elbowing the man in the face; the man reels back slightly but does not give up or fall away, and the two continue to scuffle.

Picking up your axe, you stand nearby and watch the two men closely. It’s difficult to tell what’s happening, but it seems as though the thief is losing, as the man seems quite determined to win. You notice a glint and realise that the thief has unsheathed a dagger. He tries to stab the man, but the man is quick enough to grab the thief’s wrist and stop the stab.

As the two of them struggle to gain control of the knife, you quickly move forward and kick the knife out of the thief’s hand. With the immediate danger of the dagger gone, and currently holding both of the thief’s wrists, the man regains some confidence and solidly headbutts the thief in the face, stunning him.

Once again, the man wastes no time in pummelling the thief, and in very short order the thief’s face is bloodied and bruised, and his head lolls to one side. The man stands over the thief, catching his breath as the unconscious thief slumps to the side. The man stares at the thief for a few more moments before his face crumples into anger, and he gives the thief a good kick before crouching down and rifling through the thief’s pockets until he eventually retrieves what he’s looking for; an ornate golden pocket watch and chain.

Looking over to check its condition and satisfied that it had not been damaged during the fight, he pockets it before turning to you. He looks at you for a few moments, gives you a quick nod of thanks, then turns back to the thief and lifts him over his shoulder. He begins to walk down the alleyway towards the way you came; you sheath your axe and turn and walk ahead of him.

Up ahead you see Ameronis still standing in the entrance of the alley. She remains silent as you step out onto the main road. You turn to watch the man as he follows you out onto the street as well. Here, the man lowers the thief to the ground, then, looking off in one direction and sticking his fingers in his mouth, he produces a distinctive shrill whistle. You follow his gaze and notice one of the two bouncers from outside Stardust jogging towards you. The bouncer recognises the man and asks him if he’s okay.

“Thief” the man says plainly, gesturing to the man on the floor. “I’ll be OK. Take him inside, will ya?”

The bouncer nods and easily hefts the thief up over a shoulder and turns and marches back towards Stardust. Ameronis pipes up.

“What are you gonna do with him?”

By this point, the man is busy straightening himself out.

“Oh, we’ll just keep him contained until the law enforcers show up. Then they can take care of him.”

He turns to you again, his suit scuffed and bloodied but as neat as it can be at this point

“Listen,” he says to you, “thanks for your help. I’m in a big hurry now, and I’ve got to go and deal with this rat on top of that, but come by Stardust tomorrow during the day so I can thank you properly. Go ’round the side door and tell them Omon sent you; they’ll let you in. But for now, please excuse me”.

He gives you a short respectful nod, then turns on his heel and marches off towards Stardust where he speaks briefly to the other bouncer before disappearing inside.

After watching him until he is no longer in view, Ameronis turns to you with a smirk.

“Have you considered a career as a thief-taker?” she asks.

You shrug and glance down the alley. Your dislike for thieves has certainly increased by a few points at least. You shake your head and turn your attention back down the main road. You’ve had a busy day and have had enough midnight antics with thieves and dark alleys. Now, you just want to get to bed and don’t intend to let anything else distract you. You hope, for their sake, that no one else has trouble with thieves in your vicinity.

The next morning, a little after 10am, you make your way back to Stardust. You figured you might as well see what this guy is about, and what his interpretation of thanks is. You had politely declined Ameronis’ offer to come with you.

Last night, you confirmed that the confiscated stolen items were still hidden under the floorboards where you left them. Now, you wonder if this Omon guy could give you more insight into what the law enforcers are like here, and whether turning in stolen items would be a good idea. Without telling him that you have stolen items of course.

Walking along the high street through the much smaller, calmer morning population, you arrive at the front of Stardust and walk around the building, looking for any side entrances. You find it down another alley, but the alley is quite wide and is sufficiently lit now during the day. You stand before a sturdy door in a recess off to one side and knock on it firmly. After barely a moment, a small hatch opens and a pair of eyes peer out. There is a questioning grunt from within.

Stardust’s side door

You announce that Omon sent you, and after a few moments the door opens and a man tells you to enter. Your initial view of the entrance doesn’t ring any alarms, so you step inside. You find yourself in a small but spacious reception area, clean and well-lit with pale tiles on the walls and floor. There are two men in the room; one sitting behind a desk doing paperwork, and the one who let you in; the latter locks the door behind you then walks over to a nearby side table, gesturing to a large basket lying on it.

“No weapons are allowed” he says, “Drop any you’re carrying in here; you can collect them on your way out.”

You consider for a moment that you’re already at a disadvantage locked in a room with the two of them, but if push comes to shove, you could take out at least one of them. But, will it be necessary ..?

You decide to comply and unsheathe your axe, placing it in the basket. If you keep hiding it and they decide to search you, that could result in a messy situation.

Sure enough, after you place down your axe, the security guard gives you a pat down, but finding nothing else, he opens an inner door and allows you through, giving you instructions to reach a particular office upstairs, as well as instructions to not go into any of the other rooms. With quiet thanks, you go through the door and along the path he laid out for you, eventually coming to a door on the third floor. You knock on it and after a moment hear a voice telling you to enter.

You push open the door and a man, tall and heavily built, with cream skin, blue eyes and short, dark brown hair, stands up from his desk and gestures to a seat in front of it.

“Ah, Miss, I’ve been expecting you. Welcome. Won’t you take a seat?”

Though his eyes seem friendly, there is an unsettling feel about him, but you can’t quite place it. He watches you expectantly. Without a word, you enter, and close the door behind you.

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