Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gauntlet - Episode 15.



Episode 15 – Boom-Boom, Batter Up

Arbiter knew better than to expect to find Demure parked behind her desk like any other mayor might be, lost in paperwork. Instead, when he entered the room he scanned his eyes about, making it a point to forgo even paying her ornamental office fixture any mind. And just as he had anticipated, the maiden Mayor was predictably absent from the soft seat.

“What can I do for you today,” Demure purred as she prowled about the room’s perimeter. “Ever the treat as your visits are Pierce, they are hardly without reason. So, do spare me the needless waiting and indulge me; why are you here this time?”  The question was casually put to flight like a flung arrow, a slight tilt of her head trailing her hair over her shoulder.

“We have a problem,” Arbiter announced. “There is a vigilante on the loose and I believe it may be this new drifter come to town. He’s dangerous, I met him as he stepped off the Titan Train and the man is just too idealistic for his own good. If we don’t do something soon before he establishes himself he is liable to start trying to shake things up and become a thorn in our side.”

“So let me get this straight,” Demure mournfully mused. “One man arrives in town and you are bothered by him but he simply sounds naïve to me. Such concerns are beneath me and are a waste of my time. I have a town to run; worrying about every dirt dusted drifter is not something in my job description. But I suppose if in your infinite wisdom you feel it prudent to be proactive in this matter I can spare my secretary to handle the matter.”

Demure stopped pacing about and placed her hands on her hips as she called for her secretary. “Oh, Miss Velix, would you come in here for a moment please?” Before she had even barely finished the request her platinum haired subordinate strolled into the room dutifully. “Yes, you summoned me Madam Mayor,” Miss Velix answered with a formal bow.

“It seems our dear Sheriff has a matter of some concern troubling him, I would like you to see to the problem and deal with it for me.” Arbiter noticed that as she spoke to her submissive assistant her tone was friendly, gentle even. It was a far cry from the detached and measured manner in which she always addressed him. He had to admit it was somewhat irritating, but he knew better than to take issue with it.

Ashes Velix had earned herself a most fitting nickname over her young career; she was still regarded in hushed conversations with fear and dread. Many a criminal whispered about the infamous ‘Boom-Boom,’ so named because her targets always met some manner of fiery end. Some believed her to be a ruthless Altain psychopath, others a rogue experimental test subject. But, Arbiter knew the truth and it was far more terrifying; Boom-Boom was little more than just a girl who enjoyed nothing more than blowing up and bashing things. She was little more than a well dressed attack dog who loved her job, intimately.

He had seen her deal with entire crews of hired mercenaries and cut-throat thugs without a flicker of hesitation. For that matter he had helped put out the fires and deal with the damage to the town after the fact as well. There was little doubt in his mind that she could deal with a single stranger; he just hoped the collateral damage would be kept down to only a building or two.

“I would be happy to,” Boom-Boom admitted without even a trace of a grin. “A message just came for you as well, Madam Mayor. It seems Dizcords Daemon’s decided to try and rob the bank just a little while ago. Only trouble was a man ambushed them, someone overly melodramatic and calling their self ‘Gauntlet.’”

A soft bubbling giggle slipped free from Demure at the news before she could regain her composure. “So we have a man playing at being a hero and out here in Redemption no less. How utterly quaint, if not to mention undeniably foolish; what manner of man could be blind enough to think they could survive such a solo crusade?”

“I can think of one easy enough,” Arbiter added. “Well then, let’s be sure to make a thorough example of him then, shall we Miss Velix? We don’t want him going to the next world ignorant of his short-comings, do we,” Demure asked as patient as a school teacher lecturing. Boom-Boom merely bowed once more and politely declared; “Yes, Madam Mayor.”

“Do stay clear of her way on this one Pierce,” Demure advised the sullen Sheriff. “No worries there,” he confessed. “The last place anyone with half a mind left wants to be is anywhere around Boom-Boom when she decides to let loose.” Both ladies leveled their lethal stares his way and Arbiter found himself regretting his lack of forethought or word choice. Which made him want to steer clear all the more.