Consequence – March 15, 2018
“I’ll be back,” the small, yellow haired girl said with a small grin perking at the corners of her lips. “My dad makes the best bread all around,” she added. “You’ll love it,” before she had finally run off, her hands tucked in the floury pockets of her small blue dress. He watched amicably as she scurried, quite like him, into the bakery and in just a few short moments, he watched the man behind the counter speak with her, watched as she gave him the coin, as she smiled and pointed at him and as he turned to peer at him through the old, stained glass of that must have been there for quite some time.
Within moments, the doors opened and out popped the baker, his hands just as dirty as the young girl’s dress. “One loaf, a few hours. You needn’t stand there, friend. Come back later and I’ll have it wrapped for you and everything,” he said, his big blue eyes brimming with small pride as he glanced back toward his daughter who had brought in her first customer. The little mouse stood on its hind legs, tail twitching behind him before he took a small bow with his little red cape before him and then offered what seemingly appeared to be a smile. “Thank you, kind sir,” before he had wandered off through the city.
That had been hours before. The smell of death lingered in the streets, blood… fire. It was all too familiar in the back of the young mouse’s mind. He recalled a time when he would have left the city right away to avoid such things. Such things usually brought out rats and not the kind that spoke but those who were set in their primal ways, those who had not been born with the ability to speak or the proper education to do the things that Brihl did.
Today, he gladly scurried toward the bakery, though the chill that raced down his spine, all the way to the tip of his tail, was all too encompassing. He had a bad feeling but that usually came when the clouds in the sky grew dark, when the wind stirred with the threatening signs of a storm that hadn’t been there moments before.
His small fingers curled at the hilt of his blade and his little black eyes found the place he’d been searching for. It must have happened shortly after he had left. The blood in the street indicated that a fight had happened. The lack of a body meant nothing to him for the marks left behind meant that someone had been dragged inside. His ears flattened to his head and his eyes followed that path.
Smoke clogged his little lungs. He felt himself cough a few times before finally, he wrapped his cloak tighter around his little furry body, covering both nose and mouth and finally he eyed the worst of the scene.
The bakery had been burned down. The smell of charred flesh was quite potent over the other burning scents, though all too encompassing was the fear that shrouded him like lightning to the core. As he stepped over what used to be the doorway’s threshold, his tail wrapped around his arm and he finally drew the sharp tip of his needle sword from its cloth bindings, stalking further within.
The crackle of wood breaking behind him nearly made the scared mouse jump from his skin and his cloak, almost made him drop his sword, though he saw something in the corner of his eye that made his heart drop. In the corner of the room, at the far end where the counter had been, he thought he caught sight of a charred blue, just the faintest bit stained by ash.
He walked toward it, stopping just when the sight of pale flesh was the only thing he could see other than the clothes that covered her small body.
With a little whine of a cry, the mouse rubbed at his eyes with the backside of his red cloak and he turned just as quickly, running from the shop in the direction of the tavern.
It took him a while to get there. The streets were in rambles. Dozens of buildings burning, dozens of people who were alive just this morning dead and lingering in the streets that had just been safe the days before, if not a little risky due to the criminal activity he had noticed.
The tavern was empty when he got there aside from Harry, the imps, the usual customers who were too scared to go outside where the war, or whatever was happening, transpired.
He made it just in time… Panels in the tavern, hidden beneath the bar’s surface, hidden in each booth’s table opened. He heard a voice, steeped with a heavy accented tongue. At first, it took him a moment to realize what it was, though Harry grunted his way. “Announcement from the Mountain Fortress,” he said, wary but all the same, not showing even the slightest hint of emotion.
“We bring you news straight from The Mountain Fortress of Consequence. Earlier today, Augustus Giovanni, antediluvian and progenitor of the Giovanni, killed most, if not all, of the city’s officials ranging from criminal overlords of the underground crime trade to the ministers, police force and government officials that ran the city above the crime.”
The little mouse’s ears lifted, perking at the sound of the stranger’s name.
He scurried as fast as he could up a bench’s leg, right to the top of the stool where he settled before the screen that was just now showing the vampire’s face.
“Not much is known is known about Augustus’ whereabouts after the Plainview Regime but it seems he has come here to take power. Citizens who have disapproved of his way of taking over have been killed left and right, their properties burned, their families mutilated. The skies have let loose blood, which has always been Augustus’ signature calling card.. Citizens are asked to remain indoors while this change of leadership takes its course. Be safe.”
At that, the screens closed but fury reigned supreme behind the little mouse’s eyes. The little girl had been innocent. Her father had been nice. They did not seem the sort to resort to violence and yet, their shop had been burned and both killed. His breaths came out in a sharp hiss and he took a single look at Harry, his voice, far louder than it should have been, flying out before he had a chance to really think about what he was saying.
“Put up a flier, Harry. Anyone who is willing to go to war with this vampire is a companion of mine. We do not have to live in the injustice forced on us by a dictator like him. We won’t. We need them. We need Heroes,” his little fists tightened at his blade, still clutched in his hand. He slid it back into its scabbard before slumping in quiet defeat.
He was small. Augustus had an army. He had power. But the little mouse would find companions in those that were willing.