Lasher – The Whip

“Ya Crimson lout!” a voice barked at the viewscreen near the bar.  Lasher paused in his reading, but only long enough to revisit an earlier snatch of the page he was studying.  Slick Trixy’s was usually a quiet joint, but some inter-corporate competition was in final series this week, and the drinks sold well.  The pencil scratched along the length of paper at his side, the graphite dance etching comforting vibrations along his wrist.  His research into Helix, Incorporated revealed understandably little.  R & D firm that upped the ante when the world went Chrome.  An old song, but one they appeared to be singing better than most.

“Un-fucking-BELIEVABLE!” the same guy boomed out in time with a muted roar from the box.  Ichabod moved along the length of the bar and tried to settle the rowdy patron, but the enthusiast was having none of it.  He instead produced a compact air horn from his jacket pocket and rattled the bottles behind the bar with a piercing wail.

The pencil snapped in Lasher’s hand in three places as the sirens and screams reverberated in his mind.  As he rose silently from his seat, three lengths of staff unfolded and snapped into rigid formation.  Ichabod tried to wave him off, but wheels were already in motion.  The polymer length crashed down upon the offending horn limb, cracking three bones against the unforgiving bar top.  The man screamed, and Lasher grabbed him by the hair, smashing his skull into the bar as well to silence that racket.  Yanking him the other direction, several of the screamer’s teeth snapped off as his mouth was crammed down across the back of his wooden stool.

“Better, now,” Lasher said into the man’s ear, his taut arms thrumming, “There is a time and a place for screams, and while this may be the time…this is definitely not the place.”  With a savage thrust, Lasher sent the broken man hurtling toward the front entry to scramble for his life into the street.

Then sweeping his documents from the table, Lasher strode for the rear exit, deathly silence following him into the darkened alley.

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