Kings Row : The thunder and the rain

Shadow-Step and Sun Kil Moon led the other scrappers towards the south end of the facility, they kept a weary eye out for sounds or movements, walking softly they reached a side corridor entrance. On its left wall could be seen a sign indicating the way to the kitchens. Shadow decided to split the remainder on the force in two, and took the new corridor along with Sun Kil Moon, Cabaret and Machine while the others headed towards the hangar facility. Nether Spirit had found a computer room, and was attempting to hack his way into the database to gather information, Sir Langley and Machine decided to stay and lend a hand with that. All was quiet and dark in the underground base, a gloomy green lighting accompanied the scrappers everywhere they went.

When Shadow reached the two revolving doors of the cafeteria entrance, he pushed on one gently, and looked in carefully for signs of life. All was quiet and still, the twenty tables with chairs in the dining room were all cleaned and empty, no one had left a tray or garbage to indicate that they had been here before. At the back of the room, the kitchen counter was sparkling clean and someone had left the light on in that room. The scrappers entered and took separate directions, hugging the walls, they snuck around the dining tables, to meet again under the stainless steel kitchen counter.

Cabaret took the bold choice, and walked straight in the middle without trying to hide her presence, she felt that if someone was here they should know the base was no longer abandoned, and besides Shadow-Step and Sun Kil Moon were surely the best back-ups anyone would want when trouble found you. Especially that Shadow-Step fellow, what a cutie pie she thought to herself, as she looked at him sneaking along the wall, dressed in blood stained hospital pants. He must be a very deadly foe, and she hoped also, a very skilled lover. Bringing her attention back to the matter at hands, she noticed that across the counter, in the lighted kitchen, a knife and some sliced onions, mustard and bread were on the counter. Looking more closely at the scene, the refrigerator storage door was ajar just a little, not closed all the way. She made a hand signal to her two team mates, and crouched under the counter with them. Indicating them to have a look, she felt her heart quicken, the familiar sensation of a fight and the adrenalin were bringing her senses back to life.

Shadow-Step felt a tight ball of creepiness lurk into his stomach, O-Lan was free and roaming about, and seeing the food left out on the butcher’s block kitchen counter, reminded him that he was still in a grave danger. Eyes darting to and fro, he listened more intently, still no sounds.

“I feel life is here.” Whispered Sun Kil Moon, sitting in a yoga position under the counter, he was meditating. Shadow and Cabaret both looked at him with a cocked eyebrow, what a nutcase he could be at times. Of course there was life here, the food left on the butcher’s block was fresh, and whoever had taken it out, would be back to finish putting together the sandwich.

“Ok, Cabaret you stay here, and jump in if we get into trouble. Sun, you take position behind the fridge door, when it opens, the target is yours. I’ll hide behind the butcher’s block and jump on her the minute she comes out. ” Shadow spoke fast and quietly, then went crouching for the entrance located right beside the stainless steel service area. Sun was with him, walking on all fours, the two of them went in and took position.

“What makes you think it’s a she?” Whispered Cabaret from across the counter, wondering why Shadow had looked pale a second ago.

“It’s not a she, Cabaret, it’s the devil.” He replied seriously while taking the huge kitchen knife away from the butcher’s block and hiding it under the counter. Looking around, he saw a wooden stand filled with twenty more sharp knives, then noticed the metal frying pans of different sizes, racks upon racks of crystal glasses. He suddenly felt very unsafe about ambushing O-Lan here, very unsafe. He was about to make a hand gesture to Sun, so he would come out of the kitchen with him, but the refrigerator door slowly started to open.

Sun hugged the wall while the metal door came closer to him, he felt like a kid hiding from his older brother. Shadow ducked back down behind the butcher’s block, heart racing and pounding, he was grabbing his genitals in both hands while picturing what might happen when O-Lan got her hands on a sharp knife. Cabaret who was behind the counter, looked like a cat about to pounce, ready to jump in and subdue the sandwich maker.

Sun Kil Moon screamed his battle cry from behind the door, as he pushed it away and came to stand in front of the new comer. Shadow heard him but was unable to move, rooted in place by fear and visions of more pain for himself. He then saw Sun pass over the butcher’s block feet in the air, head below with his arm flinging. Sun Kil Moon went to hit the far wall of the kitchen upside down, and landed face first in the industrial size kitchen sink with a resounding impact. Cabaret jumped over the counter screaming, but soon after, Shadow heard her say: “What the…” Then he heard the sound of crashing chairs and tables, and an outraged cry of pain. He stood up and looked for the O-Lan, but his eyes met another pair of eyes, seriously angry.

The man was holding cold cuts and a jar of mayonnaise, and when he saw Shadow stand up, he threw the cold cuts at his face. Shadow-Step received the sliced pastrami square in the face, which hung there for a second before falling to the floor. Shadow, who was expecting to see O-Lan, stalled for a second while this happened. And a second was all this new person needed to act. His hand free, he pointed toward Shadow who felt a tingling sensation all over his body. Then the man, tall and a bit on the skinny side, with brown short hair and a green bandana, dressed in a green and black copy of the Riders of Apocalypse suit, started to whistle and walked towards the butcher’s block, not caring anymore for Shadow-Step or the others.

Shadow took a swipe for his chin, just to knock him out, and missed. The man went on whistling while looking at Shadow with raised eyebrows.

“Such violence, you should at least introduce yourself before trying to hurt me, it’s not very polite, you know.” Said the young man, who was now turning his back to Shadow. Sun Kil Moon had stumbled out of the kitchen sink, and was running towards the whistler, a guttural roaring in the throat, he dove straight at him. Much to his surprise, he seemed to slide off the man, and went on to fly across the butcher’s block, both feet left dangling up as he hit the floor on the other end. Outraged and angry, he screamed in pain as his nose hit the floor first. The man looked at the feet and smiled gently, then resumed making his sandwich.

“You wanna go get me some more pastrami from the fridge, while you’re over there, the one I brought is wasted.” He said to Sun Kil Moon while Shadow missed another punch at him. He tried kicking him, and missed him. Tried grabbing him but his hands slid off of him like they were greased.

“I have encased you in an energy field, try as hard as you want to hit me or hurt me, you can’t.” Went on the short haired man who was still busying himself with the sandwich. “My name is Erg, and unless you have business here, I would suggest you leave before my friends comes back.” He wasn’t even looking a them, not a care in the world, he stood amongst enemies. A chair passed over his head, the four legs seemed to encase his skull as it went by and crashed into the wall, but he wasn’t even phased by it. Cabaret threw another one for good measure, and it missed him by a hair. The man couldn’t be hit.

“I beg of you to leave this place now, my friends don’t have the same patience as I do, and they will certainly hurt you senseless, while you will not be able to hurt them. It’s very dangerous to stay here right now, you must leave.” He had finished slapping on the mustard, the mayonnaise and the onions, and was now walking around the block, heading once more for the fridge. Sun Kil Moon swung at him, and ended up missing again. Shadow followed him, not attacking anymore, a plan had just sparked in his head. Erg walked into the fridge whistling, looking at the two scrappers and smiling to them. Shadow smiled back, then with his right arm, shoved the fridge door closed on him. Sun Kil Moon gave Shadow an appraising look and said : “You da man, Shadow.”

“Cabaret, what are you doing here?” Asked a very familiar voice from across the cafeteria, a voice that sent chills up Shadow-Step’s spine. Sun Kil Moon smiled when he recognized it.

“O-Lan, we thought you were lost, or worst, it’s good to see you girl.” Replied Cabaret in the distance.

“Judging from the mess in the room, I take it you met Erg?” O-Lan’s footsteps could be heard, and Shadow looked all around for a hiding place.

“Yeah, me and the boys tried to sneak up on him, but he got us good.” Answered cabaret with laughter in the voice as she hugged her friend and whispered in her hear : “Just wait until you see the sexy guy I met today, you’re gonna have a fit of jealousy girl.”

“Sexy, I like sexy.” Whispered O-Lan into cabaret’s ear as they separated.

“Yes, and he knows of you too.” Smiled Cabaret as she looked towards the kitchen to see Sun Kil Moon appear, alone.

“Well, I hope you didn’t mess up his attempt at making me a sandwich, I’m starved.” Shadow looked at the incomplete sandwich on the butcher’s block, gulped heavily and looked at Sun Kil Moon who had started to walk towards the dining hall. Thinking fast and with survival, for himself and his only remaining testicle, Shadow opened the fridge door, and entered it. Standing in front of Erg, who was wondering what the scrapper would try next, the defender said:

“You know, it doesn’t matter how hard you will try, the energy field you are encased in prevents you from hurting anyone, but it’s also preventing me from hurting you, as long as I maintain it active. And I’m smart enough to know not to go against scrappers in hand to hand combat.” Erg spoke that last while taking a seat on a crate of milk. “I’m a pacifist when it comes to punching and kicking.”

“Save me, please.” Said Shadow-Step, with genuine fear in his eyes.
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