Author Topic: Standing Up  (Read 682 times)

Ebon Ilnaren

  • Moderator
  • Old Wyrm
  • *
  • Posts: 484
    • View Profile
Standing Up
« on: February 08, 2017, 02:13:37 AM »
For three weeks, he had been able to shut out the world and focus solely and completely on his family.  A vacation to Mount Yasuo, it had been idyllic.  

Serene.  

Peaceful.

Ebon cherished that serenity.  Oh, since returning to Rhy'din, he had done his best to shut out the ugliness that seemed intent on fouling the city.  He spent his days working on projects with Azure, or reading to Olivia as she cuddled with her baby sloth, or riding the fields with Doran.  Most often he would find Phen and sit with her, communing in mutual silence, and those were the times when he was most at peace.

Then he would venture out into the city, and try as he might, there was no escaping the troubles entirely.  Graffiti on alley walls (and sometimes out facing the streets) was echoed in the overheard slurs from passing conversations.  My family is my focus, he told himself on one such venture, seeing a pack of angry thugs harassing a mother and child whose emerald-hued skin marked them as not-quite-human.

And I have to look them in the eyes every day.

 -------

"Hey, greenie, go back to your woods or wherever you come from!"  One of the ruffians got up in the mother's face, with barely an inch separating them.  "You some sort of plant-person?  Why don't y- eh?"  The man spied a black-cloaked figure standing nearby, and turned to face him; his comrades-in-arms drew close, and their presence fueled his bravado.  "You have a problem?  Think we're being too rough on the unnatural trash?"

Ignoring him for the moment, the cloaked man addressed their target.  "Go on your way, ma'am.  These gentlemen won't be bothering you anymore tonight."

"Oh, we won't?  Who do you think you are?"  When the newcomer lowered the hood of his cloak to reveal his jet black eyes, the thugs froze for a moment, long enough for the mother and child to slip away.  "The old Governor.  Figures you'd stand up for the freaks.  To think that I voted for you... twice!"

"Thank you for your support," replied Ebon with a wry grin.

"Rot!  Everyone knows you can do mind tricks.  You probably fried my skull so I'd support you!"

That accusation got a raised eyebrow in response.  "Not my style, and besides, I can tell from your words that your mind is an oozing pustule, so why would I ever want to touch it voluntarily?"  As he spoke with the gang's apparent leader, or at least its spokesman, Ebon noted that the others were spreading out and around, as if trying to flank him.  Beyond them, bystanders had begun to gather, and he sighed wearily.  "I'd suggest you follow the advice I gave the lady, and go on your way before I embarrass you in front of all these people."

Then they rushed him all at once, voices matched in a single roar.

Ebon Ilnaren

  • Moderator
  • Old Wyrm
  • *
  • Posts: 484
    • View Profile
Re: Standing Up
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 02:33:35 AM »
The fight was over in moments.  Ebon stepped aside as the closest reached him, then slammed an elbow into the back of the man's neck.  The thug dropped instantly, while Ebon jumped over his prone body and kicked out to down another one, then spun around and slammed his fist into the gut of a third.  He finished that one with an upward sweep of his arm into his jaw, knocking the ruffian out along with a few of his teeth.  That left the last two, who had seconds to look shocked before Ebon grabbed one as he tried to land a punch and flipped him into the other, sending them both into unconsciousness.

Although some in the watching crowd were plainly displeased with the outcome, they were outnumbered by those who were cheering and clapping.  A pair of Watch officers, guided by the woman he'd rescued, came up and began to handcuff the brigands.

With a smile and nod to the woman, Ebon ascended to the rooftops, deciding that it would be simpler to get home that way.

 -----

I can't stand by and just do nothing anymore, love.  Vandalism, homes and shops broken into, families harassed, murders and attacks across the city!  Back at the manor, Ebon lay curled up next to Phen.  I've tried to stay out of it, to just be Papa, but....

But you wouldn't be the man I love, or the father they adore and honor, if you didn't stand up for what's right.  The voice of Phen's soul was like a soothing song in his mind and heart.  Even the girls know that something's wrong in the city, and Doran, well, he's been out and about between here, Harker's Academy, and the Shanachie.  So you know that he's well aware of what's going on.  I've heard things from some of my old contacts among the thieves' guilds, too.

That gave Ebon pause for a moment.  What sort of things?

Rumors, mainly.  Something's behind all of this, but nobody knows who or what.  They just know it's bad for business.  She reached up to gently caress his cheek.  I love you, we love you, for who you are.  Be that man.

Ebon drew a heavy sigh.  And what if that makes you all a target?  There it was, the unspoken fear now spoken.

A soft hissing issued from Phen's lips, her own unique laughter.  If anyone tries to hurt us, they're in for a surprise, love.  It wouldn't be the first time our home has come under attack, after all.  Remember Tenball and the stormtroopers?  That had them both grinning wickedly, and then Phen's smile softened.  Do what's right, Ebon Ilnaren.  Stand up.  Be my hero.

As you are mine, love.  He sealed that promise with a kiss.

Ebon Ilnaren

  • Moderator
  • Old Wyrm
  • *
  • Posts: 484
    • View Profile
Re: Standing Up
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 10:42:55 PM »
After his decision to take a stand, Ebon wasted no time in reaching out to his friends and contacts across the city: Katt, Isuelt, Rachael, and others.  There was the odd invitation from Jewell, too, and though he'd been unable--and, to some degree, unwilling at the time--to attend that gathering on Overlord Isle, some of those he contacted had been there.  What he learned from them, things both said and unsaid, chilled him to the marrow.

Whatever was being done against this Temple directly, it was clearly well in hand and he didn't need to know the details.  His concern was the city at large.  Katt was organizing a quiet evacuation of more vulnerable targets: orphanages and fosterages, hospitals (at least for those patients who could be moved; Batten Security teams were watching over those forced to remain), and the like.

Taking stock of who he could rely upon, Ebon made plans to defend all he could come Valentine's Night.