Chapter 29 - Jason

Chapter 29 - Jason

The bus lets me off in a neighborhood that looks busy, yet disintegrating all at once. Shops look to be falling down and uncared for, but people are in and out with bags. It’s an old looking neighborhood for sure, still there’s life. The old man told me there’s a set of old rundown rowhouses. Apparently, the Orcs have taken over two of the buildings as their own. Orcs love communal living so when the old man said there were maybe a dozen, he could mean triple that. I guess I’ll have to find out when I get there.

Rundown is right, there’s busted windows and the concrete walls are cracked. Even with the damage to all of the buildings, I can tell which the Orcs have taken over. The front door has been boarded up to block entry so I make my way to the back alley. There two Orcs stand guard and eye me down. One wears a shirt stained with old blood that’s begun to turn brown. The other doesn’t wear a shirt despite the weather starting to chill with fall. Instead he displays his battle scars. Even after all these centuries, still a sign of pride for Orcs.

“What are you doing back here pink-skin,” an old racial slur for humans from the Orc with the scars. The only race Orcs hate more than us is Elves. Humans took their role in the hierarchy. We’re able to adjust to different civilizations easier, but we’re just as violent, deadly and twisted. On top of that we’re equally suited for combat and magic unlike the Orcs and Elves. We walk in both worlds.

“My skin is more brown than pink,” I try to open with a joke. Fighting a house full of Orcs isn’t on my list of things to do.

“Doesn’t matter, you’re still human filth,” the second Orc joins in.

“Hey, I’m just trying to get some information. There’re some businesses being extorted in the restaurant district. I need to talk to whoever is in charge.”

“I’m in charge,” the Orc with the blood stains smiles.

“No, I’m in charge,” the other joins in.

“Hey, I know neither of you pig-skinned bastards is in charge here, so where’s your boss,” Orcs respect threats, not jokes.

Shockingly, they don’t respect me. The first jams a fist right into my face. Alright, that’s the second unprotected punch from an Orc I’ve taken in two days. This one might hurt more than the other. It knocked me dizzy that’s for sure. I pick myself up from the ground and dust off my pants. Time to show them why humans replaced them in the hierarchy. We’re not as fast or strong, but we’re tenacious, and twisted. I slide on my brass knuckles and make my way back over there. They laugh about most humans staying down after one punch. Most humans didn’t spend their childhoods being trained to kill instead of learning fun games to play.

I don’t say anything, I just return the punch he gave to me. He doesn’t fall but he stumbles. The two know they’re going to have a fight on their hands with me. The three of begin to throw punch after punch. It doesn’t matter which Orc I hit, they’re both going to fall eventually. Even with magic, I’m feeling every one of these punches. I need to work on my enhancement magic, I’ve gotten sloppy since being excommunicated. Nobody forcing me to practice let me get sloppy, now I’m facing those consequences. The bonus I have is that they don’t expect me to be as fast or hit as hard. A few of their punches are hitting each other which works to my advantage.

It isn’t long before the Orc in the shirt falls to the ground. The Orc with the scars and I stare each other down and circle before squaring up again. He pounds his chest, a sign of respect when Orcs square off. I respond the same way, because he’s been kicking my ass. I go for a punch, and he locks me in a half nelson. He prefers to grapple. I wouldn’t usually mind grappling, but with an Orc? Not fun, especially not when I’m out of practice. I try to fight free, but it isn’t long before I feel my feet lifted off the ground. I hold my breath and tuck my head to my chest to brace for impact. This saves me from having all of the wind knocked out of my lungs. I take a deep breath and punch his knee as hard as I can. I had hoped to slow him down but luck is on my side and I feel his knee pop out of place. As he tries to stomp it back into place I get to my feet and begin landing blows to his face. Unable to backpedal with the bum knee he’s stuck taking punches. I’ve got this and I’m feeling confident. Punch after punch he’s starting to lose the strength to guard. I fake a hook and follow with an uppercut. He finally falls.

Before I can celebrate another Orc walks outside after hearing the commotion. He surveys the situation and calls out for help before he can fully assess the situation. I throw a punch as hard as I can and hope it knocks him out. Seems like luck has left me. I keep pounding on him until he pushes me back. I rush forward and ram a knee into his face and watch him drop before backup arrives. I jump at them and start fighting before they get a chance. I don’t know if there’s three or four or six. Doesn’t matter, they’re beating the crap out of me. I fall to the ground again and try to reach for my guns. That’s cut short when one stomps on my wrist and puts an end to that plan. I hear a car pull up and it almost seems like they start beating me harder.

I hear a door slam and some talking. I can’t make out what they’re saying, because my ears are ringing. They start to drag me inside, so I guess I’ll get to speak with the boss after all.


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