Date: April 23, 2012
John’s blood continued to pour out of the side of his neck. The profuse manner reminded Drake of a river. A mountain runoff that entered the wilderness below. Joining the rest of the world, only to freeze all to its touch. As beautiful as they are, their temperatures are insanely low. Drake saw a peace in the man’s eyes. It reminded him of the runoffs, as peaceful they all seemed, they were just another deadly way to die.
As of now, with the contact dead, this wasn’t the time to be thinking of offering him rest. Drake’s body was low to the ground, leaning against the wall. A stream of sweat ran down the side of his face. It didn’t help in any way to conjure the location of which the arrow had flown. His eyes ached to find the location. The morning had just been born in the day, the mist had surrounded the alleyway which he decided to meet John. Now, thinking about it, it proves to be a disadvantage and an advantage.
Shuffling his boots slowly forward, he did his best to not alert anyone to his presence. He was near a trash can which would prove perfect cover, but as of right now..
Another arrow flew straight into his direction. Not a word escaped his lips as he dove straight ahead of him and crashed against the wall. A metallic slamming landed against his ears with his shoulders resting against the trash can. Another emotion erupted in his body. The rhythmic beating of his heart pounded against the side of his leg. Looking down, he saw that his right ankle had been nicked against the side of the arrow. Bleeding wasn’t his problem at that area of his body. Nothing major had been hit, and his body had been pumping enough adrenaline at this point to where the wound wasn’t going to be a problem. At least for the next few hours.
Despite being hit by the arrow, he had gained something for his wound. He had the general area of the attacker. Leaning his back against the trash can, he looked around the walls. There was no clearing or alternate escape route other than the obvious entrances and exits of the alley. Something he didn’t want to discover. They obviously had the upper hand in the fact of having something ranged. Opening up the sides of his trench coat, two King Cobra pistols rested in holsters on his rib cage. As powerful as they were, he didn’t know the exact location of the one behind the attack. Just their direction.
As he weighed his options, one being running for the exit while rolling, or deciding to lay siege to his attacker in a blind barrage of their location with his pistols, a slow clap began to echo inside of the alleyway.
It took a moment for Drake to deduce that it was indeed clapping, and not something big moving his way. Edging himself to stand up against the trash can, he placed a hand on his cane and looped his head around to confirm his thoughts. Indeed, it was a man clapping.
Standing in between Drake and his exit was a man wearing a ragtag set of clothing. A jacket with a broken zipper and a cut down the right shoulder, a grease stained and knee cut pants hung much too high to be his size right above his decent pair of sneakers. The only thing about him that seemed new were his shoes, and his glasses. The man grinned devilish at Drake, a crossbow over his back. Catching eyes with him, Drake’s own features hardened and he left the safety of his cover. Standing in the middle of the walkway, the two men stared at each other, the attacker continually clapping his hands.
“My, my, I knew ya were a crafty fella. Who knew you’d be so easy to catch off guard.” The man’s voice was low, which didn’t seem to match his figure. He was a rather small man, mirrored against Drake’s own figure, that stood around five-foot seven, perhaps south at five foot six. Drake himself stood at six-foot two. Compared to the man, a good head taller, maybe more if he was given the chance to look. As the man spoke as well, he had a few missing teeth along his lower rim. A few, which Drake noted, had recently been replaced with newer teeth. The ones that were now placed in were no longer missing, like they had been in the picture of his “Wanted” photograph. With his hands over his chest, the man scuffed at Drake. “Big, bad ol’ Guardian that I’ve been hearin’ so much about. Ain’t so bad if you’ll ask me, hm? How long you’ve been doin’ all this? Seems to be ’round five years now?”
“About that, correct.” Drake allowed the man to be given the information. It seemed useless in this information. Drake’s eyes were scouring around as much as possible. Any shadow that moved caused his eyes to wander. Noticing this, the man let out a squeaking laugh.
“Scared already, boy? They ain’t so bad, ya’know?” Calling out Drake’s reaction, the Guardian narrowed his eyes on him and cupped his hands over his pelvis.
“If that were the case, I would have killed you immediately to provide myself with less trouble. Instead, I’ve allowed for the conversation to continue this long.” Drake arched an eyebrow at the man’s grinning features, “If a fool talks, allow him to speak. He may be offered no further words thereafter.”
Puffing out his smaller chest, the man removed the crossbow from his back. Tossing it to the ground behind him, he dove at Drake without a warning. Despite his size, he had an edge of power behind his thrust and tossed Drake against the wall. It was an unexpected move, and the Guardian gave him that. His form was lacking in strength. Fumbling to grab onto the sides of Drake’s jacket to get a good grip, Drake moved to his right, rotating his wrist around his attack and slammed him against the trash can.
The man had been caught off guard, gasping for a breath of air as Drake rebounded with his own set of left jabs. The first one rebounded against his jaw well, allowing him to fire off the second with a refined accuracy. The third didn’t do Drake much good, becoming a glancing blow as the man sidestepped, expecting it, and recoiled with a knee into Drake’s side. Feeling the edge of his shin wedge against his hip bone, the Guardian pulled back and regained his stance.
They were both standing away from each other with their hands up, Drake’s were bobbing up and down as he stood. Letting out another playful laugh, the man adjusted his glasses. “Yah know, I had the strangest feelin’ you weren’t gonna live up to what all the stories told aboutcha. Thank you, thank you, thank you whoever let yah get this good, they were right. You’re every bit as fun as I expected.” As he spoke, the man stood up a bit straighter and removed his glasses, tucking them into his broken jacket.
“Don’t expose yourself just yet,” Drake didn’t elaborate in which manner the man shouldn’t do so, springing from the balls of his feet and landed another glanced right jab along the man’s jaw line. Cursing under his breath, Drake didn’t have long to dread his lacking attacks. The man had appeared prepared for the attack, moving to Drake’s outer right and barraged him with a set of quick fists all along his ribs.
Breath felt impossible to gather in his lungs. His bones nearly cracking each time an attack landed before he could pull away. His body felt like it had just been used by a drumcore line. Drake’s hat dropped to the ground as he attempted to gain as much breath as he could.
The man continued to laugh, and laugh. His squeaking voice echoing in Drake’s ears. Moving down to his knees, he rolled up to protect himself should his attacker continue. Standing there, the man watched like the victor, a tower over his fallen adversary.
As he moved closer, he had a better feeling of that towering emphasis. Just as he did, Drake sprung out from his ball and landed a hefty uppercut straight up the middle of the man. A crack let out against the walls of the alley. The man also gathered some air as well, finding himself landed against the wall right behind him. Drake didn’t let up either, contrary to his attacker. Moving forward, he grabbed the sides of the man’s shoulder and wrapped a leg around his legs. Swinging his leg back and pushing directly down on the man’s body, he landed with a wet slam against the pavement.
Held down by the edge of Drake’s elbow on his adam’s apple, the two men stared at each other. Drake held his deadly trance-like gaze at the man as he held a softer, much more surprised, eye gasp at him. Before Drake could do any further attacks, the man let out a sharp whistle. Looking around, Drake knew, not fully, what was going to happen next.
Suddenly, something bit down hard on his right ankle. Unfortunately, it was also where it had been slashed by the arrow. Letting out a sharp, surprised gasp he was pulled back from over top of the man. Dragging against the pavement, a few rocks dug into his back as he attempted to see what had bit into his skin. The sun had begun to rise. Most of the alleyway was illuminated with the golden rays. After a good few seconds of being dragged, Drake found himself merely laying on the ground. Pain shooting throughout his body from whatever had dragged him, only to feel his first instinct to spin around and stare at the man.
He was surrounded in a set of different shaped shadows. These shadows weren’t on the wall, or the on the ground, but up against him. Standing about as high as his chest, the shadows were shaped like dogs, wolves almost. Their ears held back with shining red eyes. Their fur seeming like spikes that snapped up to attention at Drake’s glance of them. Before he could stand up, the man held up a hand, “I wouldn’t want to be makin’ any sorta weird moves against ’em. They don’t seem to like that, for your own safety,” he winked casually. “We’ll be seein’ you around, Guardian. Have a good morning.”
Just as suddenly as he had arrived, he sprinted down where Drake had first entered the alleyway and vanished. All the remained with Drake were the menacing growls of those beasts, and the sharp pain that one had left behind. Looking down at the wound, he sighed and ran a hand over his face. “Just, great.”