Description: Back out in the city of Southtown while waiting for the next move Rolento wants to make, Howard - the Pacific teacher, not the crime lord on the run - decides to stop by a Downtown street that he's pretty sure is not currently under close watch by the invading forces. Yet, the invaders themselves are not dangerous in themselves. There are many unhappy people waiting for the opportunity to let their frustrations out. Some careless driving by Mad Gear's own Bred is the metaphorical wooden block that makes the tower crumble and gets the street all wild - but who else stands to lose from being caught in the center of it all?
One man has a lot to think about, after all that's said and happened recently. That map full of colored thumbnails painted a great picture of what the political landscape of Southtown looks like. More importantly, it points out what parts of town are safe enough to travel. The forces of NESTS and Shadaloo are hard at work at trying to push the remnants of the Syndicate out... but then what, if they are successful? Who wins? What's that going to mean for Southtown from here on out?
The streets are strangely populous despite the tension, a number of people here and there trying to do whatever they can... perhaps they have caught on that this particular part of downtown has not seen much in the way of violence lately. Few heads are held up high. Everyone looks over their shoulder. Everyone has their own burdens to bear in regards to their continued survival. Nobody here on this street could imagine that this man holds a significant burden on his shoulders, weighed down by all he's heard and figured out with only a half-formed idea of what to do about it. Likewise, he himself hasn't any idea about these other people. How their families are holding up. How they're working, if they are at all. It is not a happy place to be.
That man... Howard Rust, Pacific High shop teacher.
Ol' Rusty is already drawn, resting against his right shoulder with the respective hand. He can't squeeze too tightly, but he doesn't need to. These fingers aren't going to let his one ally go in the case something goes wrong. His steps are slow, but his pace is steady, grunting every now and then as he rubs at his neck and, sometimes, his back. He hasn't fully recovered from that sparring deal with the one and only Rolento.
The man hasn't eaten. His stomach growls as a reminder of this. Hopefully, one of his favorite sandwich shops is going to be open. It's not likely. But he's already kept his fingers crossed that this seemingly safe street may still have an open restaurant or something before he wanders all the way back to Pacific or gets called to whatever one of Rolento's safehouses he's closest to.
One man can hope.
There's a distant revving, before a black Lamborghini streaks around the corner. People go running as the high octane sports car goes flying through foot traffic, the radio blaring Lynyrd Skynyrd as the drunkard behind the wheel laughs furiously. The car strikes several people, bumping them over the hood, before it skids out. It flips once, people running for cover, before smashing into a newspaper stands. As a hubcap spins on the ground nearby, Bred climbs out, holding a half-drunken bottle of Jack Daniels. "Well YEEHAA!"
COMBATSYS: Bred has started a fight here.
The distant revving becomes closer revving and really loud revving, the teacher turning his head over his left shoulder during another episode of lower back rubbing, a pop in his neck as he does so. Wait, wha--
HOLY SWEET MOTHER OF GOD HE'S ABOUT TO HIT ME
The man flinches, left forearm raised and fist clenched tight as a hiss escapes between his teeth, lowering his head with eyes shut tight, resting up against a brick wall as the car flips and smashes into a newspaper stand nearby. A few candies, some splinters, and a newspaper bounce off Howard's rigid form, one eye opening as the dust rises (and gets in his nose, ugh).
And there, a drunkard of a man comes out of the mess, hooting and hollering and cheering. The man that is not drunk (yet, but boy does he wish he was) is still trying to catch his breath after that near death experience. Well... more like, near IMMENSE PAIN experience, stumbling away from the brick wall with a few coughs and his joints all over putting up significant protest about doing any sort of bending at all, stumbling a ways in front of the drunkard with his back turned.
He's too surprised to be any incited over what the hell just happened to him or however many people might be screaming or crying for help above the cacophony of chaos.
COMBATSYS: Rust has joined the fight here on the left meter side.
[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////////]
Rust 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Bred
Bred looks around, taking a swig from his bottle, as he sees Rust staggering in front of him. "Hey there, city boah!" he says to Rust, standing behind him with his bottle in hand. "Looks like I missed yew! Lemme fix that!" Too drunk to care about the consequences of his actions, Bred smashes the bottle on the head of a nearby bystander, before hurling it at Rust's back.
COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Bred's Arkansas Toothpick.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0 Bred
"Aaah! Aaah." He coughs twice, left hand waving about to try and clear away the dust as it tickles his nose, eyes, and lungs alike, head lifting up as he's addressed or something, looks like he what?
He flinches as the man breaks the bottle on someone's head, oh what the hell is this man's problem? Moments later as he turns the rest of him around, something bounces off his right elbow. It doesn't sting a whole lot in comparison to the lingering amount of pain in his right hand when he tries to squeeze but, you know, ouch? It doesn't draw any blood or even leave any sort of gash to the naked eye, though.
"What the... what the hell is wrong with you?!" He shakily points his left hand at the car, at the bystander now crumpled on the ground, and the... he narrows his eyes, this is the worst possible time for someone like /him/ to bring this kind of shit to his life, what the hell is wrong with this entire town? He stomps up to the taller buff man in the gray suspenders, trying to shove him forcefully up against a nearby brick wall.
"The fuck are you doing?! All this while we're in the middle of some, some... god damned war!!"
COMBATSYS: Bred blocks Rust's Quick Throw.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-------|=------\-------\0 Bred
Bred gets pushed back into the wall, laughing right in Rust's face. "City boah, yew jes don' get it! There ain't no pigs around, suckah! THAT MEANS THIS HERE TOWN IS MINE! An' I'm sure gonna love paintin' it BLOODY red! YEEHAW!" His knee jerks up, right at Howard's groin. "Yew wouldn't drive a country boy of some city fun, would yew?"
COMBATSYS: Bred successfully hits Rust with Low Blow.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////////////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-----==|=------\-------\0 Bred
/These/ kinds of people! The balding one (even if he will never cop to this) goes from 'surprised' to 'incensed' to 'outright furious' in a matter of seconds. "Like hell it i--"
The knee makes a solid connection to his groin, getting him off of the good ol' country boy, never meanin' no harm (haw) as his left hand clutches the front of his pants, exhaling loudly. It doesn't really matter how tough a son of a bitch you are, a shot to the family jewels, my friend, that is something all men must fear. Stumbling off a ways, things have gone from 'tense' to 'hellish' in a matter of seconds. Now that Bred's gone and crashed into a news stand, an unhappy citizen starts yelling and throwing bricks at a nearby storefront. An outright riot is beginning.
All because of this jackass!
"And all this," Howard grunts as he's gathering up his reserves in the face of everything that is pretty much wrong with this city at its core, "is some... some kind of fucking... game?!"
Ol' Rusty is pointed towards Bred. The pipe does not have any sort of magical powers, no chi bolts or what have you flying at Bred's face. It is just a rusted length of pipe this man could have picked up anywhere, but this one is his.
An angry yell falls right out of the man's mouth, which is more the result of what occurs as his grip on Ol' Rusty tightens, taking a somewhat clumsy step forward with his knee popping, a backhand swing somewhere around face-level as the man just comes right on back at Bred like the urban jungle creeping out towards the unspoiled countryside.
COMBATSYS: Bred blocks Rust's Power Strike.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0 Bred
Bred's hand darts up and slaps the pipe away, leaving a jagged cut along his hand. "Hey there, boah, no need to get all angry! Yew jes need to chill out a little, yew know, maybe do a little H. Yew know where I can get some? Or are yew one of them thar squares?" He swings a hard fist at Rust, aiming to pop him in the face. "C'mon, baldie, don't hold out on yewr buddy!"
COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Bred's Strong Punch.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/----===|==-----\-------\0 Bred
The slap to the pipe travels all the way through the pipe into the hand, the grip loosened to the point that it nearly falls out of his hand, Mr. Rust having to dip low to catch it with a muffled curse. Something made of glass flies over his head and into the wall nearby as the shouting continues.
"Do a little what?" Yeah, this man is very much a square. He's crouched on one knee as the man comes along up to pop him in the face with a well-placed punch to the jaw that could flatten soft-chinned city slickers to a ten count in no time flat.
His left hand rises to the occasion in the nick of time, a clap between angry fist and angrier palm. The tension through the balding man becomes best expressed as he tries to hold that fist there, as though he were ready to squeeze it to a pulp, here on a sidewalk, near ground zero of a careless driving accident where some people are already probably dead and this man is hungry and also there's that other issue that may trump all this.
"I'm," he tries to squeeze down on that hand as hard as he can as a means of holding Bred's arm there, if he doesn't manage to get his own hand free through his own strength, "not," his right shoulder pops loudly as it, once more, tries to be an obstacle to any sort of movement, body seized up in the sheer anger of it all rather than by the conscious hardening of his body he does when faced with the prospect of something powerful, "bald!!"
That last one, which deserves its own paragraph, comes as he tries to swing the butt end of Ol' Rusty towards Bred's chest, Howard's elbow joining in the internal protest against the sudden stresses and movements that come with, well, being Howard Rust. It's not easy being Howard Rust, in whole or in part.
COMBATSYS: Bred endures Rust's Armed Combo.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-----==|=====--\-------\0 Bred
Bred gets his fist grabbed by Howard's big hand, and struggles with him as he shifts his footing forward, putting more pressure on him. He gets struck in the chest with the blunt end of the pipe, but can only grin as he continually overpowers Rust with sheer intoxication and andrenaline. "Boah, yew sure fight lahk a sissy!" He then snaps forward with his left fist in a trio of hard punches, aimed at Rust's face.
COMBATSYS: Rust blocks Bred's The Big Easy.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/----===|====---\-------\0 Bred
The man's eyes widen, his upper body tilting back as inbred Bred just keeps... coming! He knows he might've lost some strength in his right hand but argh get this man off of me! He visibly retches at the sheer scent of what's on that man's breath as he outright calls him a sissy.
On reflex, his left forearm goes horizontal in front of his face as the man lets out three hard punches that... um... aren't very hard at all. The shop teacher snorts about all this. He's about to fall on his back and he keeps getting pushed by this drunk guy who thinks he's got more punch than he really does. His head turns off as some people start marching up towards a storefront, yelling some nonsense about Geese.
What the hell is he doing, allowing himself to be nearly knocked onto his back by this guy who, in all due seriousness, is probably only giving him problems because he's letting him? Me! A would've-been up and coming fighter, letting himself potentially get killed by someone like this?
Not so soon, he growls. Not so soon.
His body still feels all stiffened up just from the audacity of it all, that jarring transition between a near death experience and a confrontation with some drunk son of a bitch with no care in the world about what he's doing, unclenching his left hand as he spies a little something off to the side of the sidewalk.
It's a bit of an awkward angle to work with and his left elbow sure doesn't want to bend, but with a little grit, and a whoooole lot of reason to try, Howard tries to get his palm around the side of Bred's face and, in an outward shove, direct his skull towards that gutter. As though that gutter were a gap in a brick wall that needs, what else, another brick.
Let's not make the song reference.
COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Bred with Brick Stacker.
- Power hit! -
> Determined Hit! <
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > //////////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/-----==|======-\-------\0 Bred
Bred blinks in shock as Rust shrugs off his punches, before being grabbed by the head and slammed headfirst into a gutter. Blood splorches out from his head at the blow, before he staggers to the side, temporarily out of Howard Rust's reach. "Yew yeller bastard!" he spits, before turning around. His hands plant on the ground and he kicks both legs out behind him, right at Rust's stomach.
COMBATSYS: Rust interrupts Double Mule Kick from Bred with Cement Upper.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1 Bred
And with that period of time where Bred's not on the other man's ass, Howard rises, spitting on the sidewalk. He's standing tall (for someone not quite six feet) and, circumstances permitting, he's going to walk tall as he taps his own shoulder with Ol' Rusty gently before holding it backwards and away from himself, as if anticipating something.
With Bred down for just a sec, there is plenty of time to take the view of what the hell is going on. Looters are starting to have a field day, as though the latent inner devils of once innocent passer-bys have decided to come to the surface with the flimsy excuse of the accusation levied at Geese as the cause of all their suffering for being able to grab whatever shit they can here for free.
Why am I such an upstanding enough man to not want to jack an unoccupied car and get the hell out of dodge, Howard curses inwardly as Bred seems to turn away, going to run--- wait, wait, no, he knows exactly what the gesture is going to be, he fell for that pretty bad years ago when facing down some ne'er-do-well on a third story walkway at a construction site, he sure as hell isn't going to fall for that again.
Spinning Ol' Rusty in his right hand - his manual dexterity well a cut above many of his fellow men, even injured as it is - he reasserts his grip at the current end of Ol' Rusty that's considered the handle as he swings it low enough against the concrete to kick up some sparks along its upwards path, leaning into the two-pronged (...booted) assault.
One foot gets him square in the chest, a short wheeze out of the teacher as the other goes wide off to his side. The pipe ends up sliding somewhere in between, the business end finding purchase in the one place no man would ever want to rent pain for the weekend or for any other point in time.
"AHHHHHHH!" Bred shrieks as he's stabbed by a rusty pipe in the man meat, falling over in pain. He clutches his bloody member with both hands as he curls into a fetal position on his back, turning over onto his side. "OH JESUS CHRIST YEW FUCKIN' BASTARD! I'M GONNA CUT YOU THROAT TO GROIN LAHK A FRESHLY CAUGHT BASS!" he screams at the top of his lungs.
COMBATSYS: Bred gains composure.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////////// ]
Rust 0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1 Bred
As a fellow man, Howard almost sympathetically takes a step back. Almost, at least moments until he remembers that same man hit him in the groin not that long before. But, um... ouch. That's the beginning and end of his sympathy considering, um, he's now smack dab in the middle of a riot, this man beat some other guy in the head with a bottle, and you know, he's wondering if he ran over some people along the way to that crash.
The man shakes his head. Yeah, we're done here.
"Y'know what, kid," he talks down to the groaning, screaming southerner as he steps off into the street, "I want you to... to take a good look at all this shit. I want you to /think/, whose stores you just made people close, whose lives you might've just... just ruined." That's putting it a little strong. The thought makes the teacher a little sicker to his stomach than he already is with a lot of this. His stomach growls loudly. Goddamnit all that and he's not sure he'll be able to grab a bite to eat!!
"I hope you're god damned proud of yourself!!" He points with his left hand as he starts to walk away. But wait... he sees there's a nice little manhole cover right out in the middle of the street! For a time, the late-30s man has the gears of outright spite and maliciousness turn in his head as he raises the manhole cover up with his left foot. Nice heft, nice weight to it. He lifts the same foot up higher as it is nearly flipped onto the other side, drawing back that foot and giving it a gentle boot that gets the manhole cover rolling like a little wheel of doom.
COMBATSYS: Bred fails to interrupt Large Thrown Object from Rust with Ragin' Cajun.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////// ]
Rust 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Bred
Bred climbs to his feet as Rust gives his little speech, his eyes burning with rage as he draws a long knife from his suspenders, laughing at Rust. "Yew think I care about any of that, city slicker? Yew jes listen to me, boah, when I get through with yew, yewr..." He blinks at the rolling manhole. "Huh?" It pops up during its spin, hitting Bred right between the legs. Again. He crumples to the ground. "Oh Jesus, I'm never gonna sin again, jes make it stop hurting!"
The teacher was ready to leave it at that and just go on his way, but, could he really? Can he really just walk away from an angry mob converging on whatever tickles their fancy to satisfy their blame? He stops in his tracks, lowering his head down to the ground. What could I do against a whole buncha people, anyway? I'm also fucking hungry and God help me if I don't get lunch soon--
He's ignoring most of the threats up until that 'clonk' and a scream. Morbid curiosity - the sort that makes people want to look at car wrecks even if they know it's going to be a terrible sight - gets Howard to turn around in mid-stride as Bred crumples on the ground once more.
Mmmph. Now what?
"Y'know what... you get your ass up," he helpfully gestures down the street, "get the fuck outta my sight, and maybe, just maybe, I won't," hm, thinking about it, that manhole thing was kind of cool, and now there's this loose grocery store cart wheeling down the street.
He sets his left foot against the bottom 'shelf' of the cart, his left hand on the plastic handle and lets it roll back and forth, the screech of a missing wheel against the asphalt like the snort of a bull, a shrill warning above the screaming as the teacher gives a little thought about the creative sorts of things he just might want to try with this here shopping cart, managing - perhaps for the first time this entire war - almost a mischievous smirk.
"Then maybe I just won't... say, uh..." c'mon, catchy context-appropriate taunt, this could be the difference between getting this over with and having to deal with some delirious country boy who, for lack of any particular physical strength on their person, might make his day just all the longer and more taxing, "then maybe I won't check you out at the counter and boil your ass for dinner."
...He grunts, oh, that is /terrible/, but let not the conflict over one-liners state for lack of preparation. He's got a shopping cart and he's got a pretty good idea how to use it!!
COMBATSYS: Rust focuses on his next action.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///////// ]
Rust 0/-------/---====|======-\-------\0 Bred
Bred staggers back to his feet, looking at Howard Rust with fear in his eye. But soon, this fear is replaced by madness, as a bloody grin splits his face. "Yewr gonna eat me? Yewr gonna have to learn how to skin mah first!" He dashes at Rust, launching himself headfirst at him with a shoulder tackle to the ground.
COMBATSYS: Rust interrupts Strong Throw from Bred with Bulldozer.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ < > ////// ]
Rust 0/-------/=======|=======\-------\1 Bred
That's right get up, okay... go the other way, Mr. Rust commands with his mind, go the other way, no, no, don't grin at me oh shit. Okay okay, I have a shopping cart, what do I do?!
The teacher holds his ground as Bred runs head-first. Mr. Rust has a shopping cart, all right, and the idea comes to mind in short order as Ol' Rusty gets transposed underneath his left shoulder, putting both hands on the handle and squatting down as his body shakes up and down, representing the turbulence of a construction vehicle motor. The vibrating lips do a decent job of replicating it. What the crap is this man doing?! It's like he's squatting in thin air, like some kind of... invisible bulldozer?
With that, he pushes the cart - and himself - forwards in one of the most bizarre gliding motions yet, tripping Bred into the basket. The smaller fold-out part of the cart snaps on his fingers, and the bottom of the cart pushes back up against his ankles painfully enough to break the focus, but nope. I gave you ample warning, kid, the teacher thinks to himself while he maintains the zen of the errant construction vehicle on a rampage.
He pushes uphill towards the end of the street. At the top of this hill, the balding man only goes a short ways before he flips backwards, hurtling the cart - and Bred - with his feet back down the street, with the teacher remaining on his back as that stiffness starts to set in again.
If he weren't still smack dab in the middle of a riot (and some homeless guy is yelling at him now about something, was that his cart?) and Howard here had the mindset of a college-aged prankster he'd call this one of the best one-in-a-million combat situations he's ever been in.
Bred gets tipped over by the cart and falls inside headfirst, with his legs sticking out of the top. "AHHHHH!" he screams, as he's sent careening down the road and faster and faster, screaming even louder as it rattles towards the rioting hordes. He slams into a group of rioters who all fall to the ground, Bred disappearing beneath the group.
"ARRRGHHHH!" comes a growl, and then the rioters burst backwards, Bred rising up. He's shaking, but laughing, no longer holding a knife. "Yew stupid bastard...Yew jes don' get it!" He begins running at Rush, leaping and striding and bounding, before he blurs with speed and attempts a much faster, harder shoulder tackle.
COMBATSYS: Bred successfully hits Rust with Free Bird.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ < > ///// ]
Rust 1/-------/=======|-------\-------\0 Bred
It's like shopping cart bowling down there, and ol' Howard... well, he doesn't like what he sees down there. Those rioters, they're probably looking at him now, probably ready to start throwing a whole lot of that noise his way as the man tries to struggle back onto his feet, rubbing his lower back. He landed pretty hard on it. It's still quite tender, after all of that. That, and... oh shit he's still coming at me?!
The angry homeless guy that was yelling at Howard comes up and takes matters into his own hands, shoving the middle-aged man forward into the downhill path of the street ahead of him, where Bred is just waiting to tackle him and--
The teacher is sent sprawling across the street. Four parts saliva, one part blood, one part stomach acid as he gurgles and gasps for breath after taking a lightning fast southerner being all Free Bird up his grill fo' shizzy (ugh, let's not continue this train of thought). Rolling along to his side, the teacher wheezes for air. Fatigued, a little battered... still fucking hungry. Still haven't gotten that man off of him. Ol' Rusty, at least, remained in the hold of his left armpit. A silver lining, as he draws it free from its stinky grasp with his right hand.
He's not that far away from Bred at all. At a disadvantage and on the ground, surely. Not too far behind Bred... an open manhole. Huh. It's easy to put the pieces together right here, minus the lingering sensation of pain all around and the difficulty in drawing in breath.
"No," he utters weakly as he comes up to a stand, and... augh! Something goes down through his right forearm, oh, that smarts. He balls his left hand up into a fist, "you just... you just don't get what we do, where I'm from."
Wherever you do your business in a respectful enough establishment in society, there's one hard and fast rule that is understood by all people who are properly toilet trained. Struggling to maintain his balance and wheezing in every breath, Howard cocks his left arm back, bending it at the elbow as he flexes it together as tightly as we can.
"Where I'm from," he intones as he swings his left elbow upward in something of an uppercut, trying to knock Bred into that open manhole behind him, "we flush our shit!!"
A far better one-liner.
COMBATSYS: Rust successfully hits Bred with Random Strike.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ < > // ]
Rust 1/-------/=======|==-----\-------\0 Bred
Bred gets knocked backwards, but manages to grab Rust in the process. As he teeters backwards over the manhole, about to fall in, he holds onto Rust, struggling to stay up. "Yew bastard..." he says through gritted teeth, before grabbing at Rust with his other hand and attempting to carry him with him down into the sewer.
COMBATSYS: Bred can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Bred successfully hits Rust with Gutwrencher Suplex.
[ \\\\\\\\ <
And so, that is how Howard Rust deals with the first victim of the legendary mayor Mike Haggar's crime cleanup counteroffensive from so long ago. If he were aware of this connection, he'd have a whole lot of things to say about that. Further respect for the efforts that man took to protect his home and his daughter. That little added bit of confidence that there is still something he could do in a direct fight with the malcontents of Southtown, even if he may never, er, actually aspire to that level of dedication and power that one Mike Haggar can bring to the fold.
No, right now, the teacher's problem is more in that he throws a lot more of that elbow than he means to, and that means he's about to throw himself into the drink with the rampaging redneck! Something Bred seems wise enough to as he is grabbed onto around his waist as the two men tumble into the sewer.
The teacher's face hits the side of the manhole as blood pours out of his face. He disappears into the sewer, into the darkness save for his left hand being the only anchor he has to the mean, rowdy streets of downtown Southtown with an angry southerner who still wants to give him plenty more of a talking to and also a beating.
"Son of a... aaaaah! God, god damn... get off of me!!" The teacher yells, putting in all the strength he has to keep a hold, blood dripping out of his nose and into the nasty water underneath that he surely can't see from here. "You're a, a fucking psycho that's what, a fucking psycho!!" These sorts of things continue for a while.
Above ground, a young mother is cradling a small child, bawling out her eyes. "Please! Anyone! A black car hit my child! Someone... anyone!! Please help! Help!" She sobs between breaths as people stampede around, getting into misbehavior over their own misfortunes with Geese and the invading forces. "Please! Someone!"
Black... car? Just like the one that... Howard grits his teeth, grinding them loudly even as blood bleeds out the side of his mouth. "I'm not stooping to... to your lows today, kid!!" He shouts to Bred as he finds himself another bout of strength to get his right arm - still holding Ol' Rusty - up out the manhole as he wriggles himself upward with the sort of upper body strength you could expect of a man who, for years, worked many hours a day... lifting, moving, building... he's a working man, and though his joints are worn and tired from overuse, making his body feel old well before its time to actually /be/ old, he's a working man through and through, and this body he has is his proof of going out there.
With one last heave, he wriggles himself free of Bred's clutches and gets himself up and out of the manhole, face flushed as he coughs away that rancid scent that invaded his nose. He can just /taste/ what that filth was down there, argh. Dazedly, he takes in the city around him. Something's on fire. Too many people are yelling. Some glass bottle is broken near him (same angry homeless guy that shoved him earlier).
"Help! Heeeeeelp!" The lady continues to sob, cradling her bleeding, dying child, her cries for help echoing around the wounded, winded man's ears.
He shakes his head once to get his bearings straight as, at last, gets back up on his feet. You know. Maybe one man can't really do a whole lot, sometimes... there's maybe not a whole lot he can do for those storefronts, nothing he could say that could stop the looters, no strength to just take everyone and everything down by his own two hands (and Ol' Rusty), but maybe...
"Hey," he wheezes out to the lady, stumbling along towards her. He's been down this street enough, and if he read Rolento's little map right... well, please, forces that be, don't make him into a liar!! "I think, I, uh... I uh... c'mon," he signals with his free hand as he looks out towards the way he's sure some sort of hospital or clinic should be still standing.
He's going to be absolutely miserable these next few hours. If not for the lady and her kid, if for the fact he still hasn't had a single god damned thing
Log created on 13:26:57 05/14/2009 by Rust, and last modified on 21:48:47 05/17/2009.