Press "Enter" to skip to content

A Dangerous Con: Brothers from Bump

It was a busy evening in Babbage square when Mr Firecrest approached Nicolas’ brothel. There seemed to be more people around than was normal for the time of day. Many looked out of place, as if the tasks they were busying themselves with were not what was occupying their minds. 

Russell wandered up to the front door, but was stopped by two scruffy looking men, holding knives openly in their hands. Behind them were more guards than there had been on his last visit. One of the guards spoke past the knife brandishing front men. 

“If you’re here for your favourite lady cat, she’s not taking customers.”

Russell tried not to let his surprise and worry show on his face “Is that so? What a shame. Would it be possible to talk to her and arrange another time?”

The guard replied “Can’t say that you can.  The boss said none of her regulars are to speak or see her again.”

Russell frowned “Did he say why?”

The guard smiled “Because her regulars are too clingy, he said. Get upset at every little bump or scratch that happens by accident.”

“Hmmm” pondered Mr Firecrest, considering reaching for his pistol, but thinking better of it. 
The guard shrugged “Plenty of human girls you can go after.  You can pay them to put on a little tail and ears if you have to.” He laughed at his own joke. 

Russell paused for a moment, then replied calmly “I don’t know how he expects to run a business without regulars, but It’s his business I suppose. I’ll find somewhere else to accommodate me.”

“Your quatloo, pal.”

The adventurer tipped his hat, glaring angrily from under the brim. He turned and walked away. 

Stopping outside a chocolate shop, he stared into the big glass windows, watching for followers in the reflection. After a few minutes he had picked out several. There was a disguised man he recognized as one of Captain Bookworms, two dodgy looking individuals in the shadows watching him and several street urchins. He also noticed a woman with greying hair, but posture suggesting confidence and experience. He thought he’d seen her talking to the militia captain on occasion. The adventurer decided to buy a few chocolates before making his way back to his airship at the docks. 

He climbed aboard the Albatross and motioned for Sigmund to join him below decks. The sloth followed, looking worried and squeaking inquiringly. Russell described the events at the brothel and started to outline a plan. 

After a few minutes, Sigmund raised a claw and sniffed the air. A look of panic crossed his face. Russell listened, and heard the sounds of boots on decking. Someone was climbing aboard. He quickly picked up his Winchester and rapier, then moved to the hatch. 

Russell flicked the latch and pushed the entryway open. He ducked back as bullets tore into the frame. 

“Looks like they don’t want to talk Sig!”

Footsteps clattered on the deck as the men rushed for the hatch. Russell shot over their heads sending them diving for cover. Sigmund climbed forward and started to open the hidden hatch at the bow. 

The two men split up, one firing on the hatch while the other tried to creep around the other side of the deck. Russell returned fire, hitting the closest man in the leg. The man grunted but kept firing, his shots splintering the wood by the adventurers head. 

Sigmund climbed from the bow hatch and slipped into the rigging, his sloth claws and natural colour keeping him hidden among the ropes. 

Russell ducked back, then shot again, hitting the man in the shoulder. The ruffian fell to the deck cursing and shouted to his companion. Russell kept his rifle on the first man while scanning the deck for the second. 

Sigmund climbed closer, positioning himself above the fire-fight. 

Laying on the deck, the first man shot his pistol again. Russell ducked and, while his head was down, the second man leapt out and pointed his pistol. 

“You bled our kin,” he growled in an odd accent and started to pull the trigger. He jolted back as Sigmund landed on him from above, his bullet going way off course and making a splash in the harbour. Sigmund dug his sharp claws into the mans face, securely lodging them behind his jaw bone. Russell leapt from the hatch and slammed his rifle butt into the second ruffians stomach with all his strength. The unfortunate man collapsed to the deck as the first shot his last bullet. The shot was high, but grazed Russell’s shoulder. The adventurer turned and with a cry of pain and anger swung his rifle downwards into the mans face, breaking his nose and ending the fight. 

Quickly tying the wounded men, sloth and adventurer dragged them into the rear cabin and propped them up against the engine. Russell drew his rapier and menaced them with the point. “Mind explaining what your doing on my ship gentlemen?” 

They stared ahead sullenly, refusing to reply. 

Russell poked the man Sigmund had clung to in the shoulder with his sword, drawing blood. “Come on I don’t have all day!”

“You attacked our brother.”  The man from Bump said quietly. 

“Brother? Who might that be?” 

“Don’t play with us.  The man you attacked at the pub.” He ground out with his rough accent.
“I don’t recall attacking anyone recently. Perhaps you have me confused with someone else?”

“You lot crushed his leg, you didn’t crush his hearing.” 

“When am I supposed to have done this?” the adventurer replied jovially. 

“Not many men have your hair and our kin heard things in the hospital. Disguise yourself all you want, the lasses recognized you.” The man said, clenching his fists behind his back and trying to loosen the ropes. 

“Are you telling me you came all this way over some drunken brawl?” Russell said. 

“Blood for blood, city man.” the ruffian replied, staring coldly.

“Well, tell your… brother was it?… Tell him sorry about the leg, but if he or his family come for my blood again, I’ll have all of theirs. I know someone who has a taste for it.” Russell answered, poking the mans leg with his sword and letting a little blood leak onto the deck. 

The men scowled back, but eventually nodded. Within a few minutes, a few militia men arrived and, after a brief exchange and a laugh about how the men were tied neatly for them already, they brought a cart and wheeled them off to the hospital, and then the cells for a few days.

Spread the love

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply