I have not gotten a chance to play any board games this past week so decided to write the next chapter of my short story involving Jax Denek. This chapter goes into a dark part of the city, hope you all enjoy it!
If you have not read the first chapter I highly encourage you, as this chapter wont make a whole lot of sense!
Link to Ch. 1: The Assignment
Link to Ch. 3: Black Market of Darg
Jax walked steadily along moving through the crowds that littered the sidewalk. Animals gawked at the storefronts with shop peddlers out trying to convince them to give up their cash for a whole assortment of products from tools, clothes, guns, trinkets, and home brew remedies to cure illnesses. The whole street was dark and dirty, no one wore anything prestigious in the way of clothing nor expensive technology, phones and wristbands two or three generations behind.
High above thunder rumbled within the thick clouds that covered the moon ready to burst with rain at any moment. The air filled with smog and an assortment of smells from shops was blown through the crowds by the winds bringing the oncoming storm. Several animals perked their ears or looked to the sky at the sound of thunder but then resumed what they were doing. Small spheres began to float out from nearby buildings creating a web of clear, thin fabric guiding the first drops towards tanks hidden beneath the ground, supplying the city its water.
Looking up Jax moved to the side beneath the cover, several spheres stolen for parts causing certain sections of the sidewalk to have no cover from the rain that began to fall. Other animals followed suit, avoiding the puddles starting to form on the sidewalk.
Tightening the collar of his trench coat around his neck, Jax shook himself slightly at a chill that came through the openings in the sky cover. He scanned his eyes along the storefronts seeing all sorts of items from jewels, electronics, stale looking food, vials filled with various colored liquids, and a range of other items, everything of low quality.
Turning down several streets, he came to the alleyway its address matching one of the predator clubs he was looking for. Moving down the tight corridor, he looked back at crowds passing the entrance the lights off of advertisements flashing down the dark path. Pulling his paws from his pockets he kept his claws ready at a moment’s notice to defend. Sniffing the air he quickly reached for a rag in one of his pockets, rubbing his nose at the scent of rotting food intermixed with the piles of trash deeper in the alleyway. His ears perked he went on keeping the rag tight around his nose.
Moving past the trash he came to a doorway at the end of the alleyway, knocking on it with the back of his paw he took a step back and waited patiently. Glancing down he made sure there were no visible bumps in his trench coat hiding the pistol on his belt. Hearing the sound of metal grating across metal he looked up to see a slit now revealed in the door. Two golden eyes peered out studying him closely.
“What do you want?” The voice was gruff but had a mix of a hissing snarl to it.
“I heard a predator can find solace here,” Jax replied returning the same intense gaze.
“Yes,” The voice snickered, “I enjoy testing you wolves.” The voice said before opening the door inward to reveal a black, muscled panther dressed in a vest and pants with plating beneath. A pistol along with a large club dangled from a belt around his waist. “Come in, we get plenty of you wolves here to join the fun.”
Jax nodded his head in return and walked through the doorway coming out into a tight hallway. “I appreciate it,” He replied.
“Just don’t cause any trouble, and do not howl, place is too tight to have a bunch of you wolves howling like maniacs.” The panther hissed before shutting the door and locking it, waving his hand towards another door down the hallway, “clubs that way.”
Fluorescent lights lit his path, a few flickering or dimly lit in need of being replaced. The hall itself was relatively clean, several stains still littering the carpet and along the walls. A constant vibration shook the air, the loud pumping music slightly muted by the heavy door Jax moved towards. Reaching a paw out to the handle he turned it coming out into a new room that expanded out in a large dome shape.
The room was lit by lights of various hues changing colors and hanging over tables to give a low ambience to the room and conceal any lewd actions. The music filled the ears not dampened in any way, a strange new song of electronic mixed with various instruments repeating a constant beat keeping the heart pumping. The loud music mostly drowned out the sound of heavy rain fall that filled the sky above, now pounding the roof of the club.
Moving along the side of the room, Jax’s eyes scanned over the occupants, various predators along with some prey filled the room. All the predators kept to their own respective corners of the room, the middle occupied by different prey and predators scantly clothed fulfilling orders for customers or performing a show in the center. He merely glanced over the females in the center, instead paying closer attention to the predators sitting in comfort around the room, looking for the two murder suspects.
Finding a booth he settled down ordering a drink from a gazelle that walked by. He looked out at his new perspective of the room at predators on the other side, not spotting anything of interest yet. Taking the glass offered to him by the returning gazelle he leaned back sipping the brown liquor, savoring the warmth in his chest.
Staying relaxed with his drink Jax sat for awhile, keeping tabs on all of the predators in the room, waiting to see if any of them would do anything suspicious. He adjusted in his seat in discomfort at the sight of a pair of dead rabbits being served to a table already filled with other meats, the group of predators happily munching away at the food and dumping alcohol in excess down their throats. His own inner instinct ached inside; the last time he had such a rich meal distant in his mind. Shaking himself he looked away from the feast to a group of new arrivals in the room.
The group was a mix of four predators, tiger, red fox, a coyote, and a harpy eagle. He took another sip of his liquor taking little interest in them until he got a glimpse of a handle to a weapon, its shape and thickness catching his attention. He took a bigger gulp of the liquor and set the glass down, waving to the gazelle for another round. He kept the coyote in the corner of his eyes, watching him shift his baggy shirt over the weapon.
The group settled around a table, ordering drinks and sparking up an excited conversation its contents unable to reach Jax due to the loud music in the club. The coyote talked little among the four, his eyes constantly looking around. Jax looked away relaxing as he thanked the gazelle for the new drink and took a sip, watching the female jaguar dance on stage, her dress waving around her body moving to the new song that filled the room. A low rumble of distant thunder shook the place, the storm reaching its peak outside.
Milking the second glass of liquor slowly Jax moved his free right hand along the pistol hidden within his coat reassured by its heavy shape, a shiver ran through his body anticipation killing him. Taking a deep breath he relaxed watching the dancer some more, occasionally glancing around the room to not bring attention to himself, the coyote always in the corner of his eyes.
With another song ending in the room, the coyote stood up heading to the back of the club, the other three continuing to talk excitedly with one another. His eyes turned to the coyote, watching him enter a back door towards the restrooms further beyond. Finishing his own drink he made sure the other three were still heated in their debate as he took his stand and began moving along. He looked around seeing no one take notice of him besides the occasional glance which always returned to their own thoughts when he met them with his own gaze.
Reaching the back of the room he moved to the same door the coyote used and walked through coming into a small hallway. Moving down it he checked the storage closet, finding it locked then turned to the male bathroom. Placing his paw on the doorway he came into view of a worn bathroom, decorated with dark brown tiles and lit by a low golden glow in the room revealing stained marbled counter tops. Walking along the sinks he glanced into each stall, finding them all empty. Letting out a low growl of frustration he quickly exited the bathroom and checked the female bathroom coming to the same results. He moved further down the hall to a maintenance door for staff members.
Opening it he entered into a new hall that went a couple of different directions. Moving down one path he entered into a small lounge decorated with leather couches and a glass table, where he spotted the coyote talking with a large bat dressed in a cloak.
“How much for the pla-“The bat was saying before turning his attention to the new arrival, a hiss coming from him, “you were followed?”
The coyote turned, the weapon held in his hand, “what? Who the hell are you?” He snarled fur standing on end.
Closing the distance with a swift kick Jax reached his right paw out grabbing the coyote by the throat, his other paw ripping the weapon away, snarling he shoved the coyote down into the nearby leather couch. With weapon in hand he released the stunned coyote to grab at the bat who tried taking off with his wings to escape along the high ceiling, his paw wrapping around the bat’s ankles he ripped the creature down slamming it into the glass table shattering it and knocking the bat unconscious.
Turning his attention to the claw waving coyote he reached forward to wrap his paw around the neck of the coyote and shake him still, pinning the animal down with his knee and squeezing him against the cushions, “enough!” He snarled the coyote freezing up. “Tell me where you got this,” Jax asked, the weapon still in his left hand, the trigger near his thumb ready to be used.
“I…I got it from a dealer on Darg Road!” The coyote cried, “Please don’t kill me! I’m just trying to make a living!” He shivered uncontrollably beneath the heavy wolf pinning him.
“What’s the dealer’s name?” Jax snapped his lip curling to reveal teeth.
The coyote’s eyes widened as he panicked with thought, “Its, uh… Viktor!” He blurted out.
“Does he have more of these weapons?”
“I have no idea!” The coyote cried squirming beneath the heavy grip, the squeeze tightening around his neck causing him to squeak out a gasp of air before the grip loosened enough so he could breathe again.
“Who is this bat you were trying to sell too?”
“Just a friend of mine! He…he’s a weapons collector!” The coyote yelled, squirming some more beneath the heavy grip.
Growling, Jax lifted the coyote up and in one fell swoop slammed him into the carpeted floor, “What about your three friends you walked in with?” Jax snapped at the dazed coyote.
“Just…” The coyote began before shaking his head and gasping, a violent shake to his head bringing him back to awareness of the harsh gaze staring down at him. “They’re just three friends of mine!”
“Liar,” Jax snapped, lifting the coyote up slightly then slamming him back into the floor, some blood staining the carpet where a shard of glass had nicked the back of the coyote’s head. “Do you work for someone?”
“No! Never!” The coyote cried, “I’m a loner!”
“What about your three friends?” Jax growled again, pushing his knee into the coyote’s stomach. “Think long and hard before you answer.”
Letting out a cough, the coyote gasped for air trying to gather his wits as best he could, his eyes flickering open and closed to clear his blurred vision. “Alright, alright! The bird, he’s mentioned something about the Claws, but please! I beg of you, I don’t know anything more than that!”
Slamming the Coyote into the ground again, Jax stood up his claws deftly digging into different components and latches to the rectangular weapon in his hand, quickly dismantling it and pulling out the crystal of plasma inside which gave the weapon its lethal power. Throwing it into a nearby wall, the crystal shattered, staining the wall with blue plasma that oozed down the side, now useless. “Clean yourself up and consider yourself lucky,” Jax said turning away from the coyote to head back the way he had come.
Re-entering the club’s main room Jax loosened his trench coat, the opening giving him ease of access to the pistol resting against his hip. Unbuttoning the holster, he readied the pistol, flicking off the safety before letting the trench coat fall back into a resting place partially hiding the weapon. Coming around the corner he froze up, his eyes glancing around swiftly for his targets. He sighed cracking his knuckles and started to head for the exit of the club, moving past the table where the three predators had been before, now gone.
Link to Ch. 1: The Assignment
Link to Ch. 3: Check back later!
– As always critiques, suggestions, and questions are all welcomed either through the comments below, the social media pages, or my email at firstname.lastname@example.org