A Disquiet Follows My Soul, Pt. I
Chapter 3: Mypos or Bust
Location: The Seedy Airship (Tavern, Elladia)
Timeline: Day of Landfall
Julian didn't have any personal business in Elladia, nor had he received any duties as of yet, so by midday on their first day on land, the old man had found himself a comfortable seat in the corner of the Seedy Airship, a dockside tavern that seemed to be fairly popular with the locals. Salazar wasn't one for adventure anymore, nor for socialising with the giddy crew as they explored the city. So instead, a few copper coins later, Julian spent his afternoon sipping a cold drink and taking in the sights of the Seedy Airship's main bar.
The room was fairly large and bland, small tables scattered all around with a long bar down the opposite wall. The Master Gunner had seated himself away from everyone else intentionally, though as the lunch hour dragged on a lot more patrons began to pour in and the tavern came alive. Everyone - fishermen, farmers, engineers - seemed to know one another, laughing and carrying on. It was a pretty calming environment, keeping Julian at ease. It was because of this that he didn't seem to mind when Erm walked through the front door, spotted the Master Gunner, and made his way across the room.
"What do you hear, Master Salazar?" The old man greeted his comrade with a nod and a brief smile, raising his mug.
"Not much to hear, Erm. Nice place we've landed in, though, to say the least." Erm smiled and took up a seat, the two men indulging in some small talk as the time slipped by. Clearly the younger sailor didn't have much to do, either, and for the first time in a while Salazar was happy with the company. He couldn't however, ignore the fact that the pair were being watched.
More specifically, -he- was being watched. A young lady across the room, having been seated there upon Julian's arrival, hadn't taken her eyes off the old man once. When Erm arrived she had tried to busy herself, rummaging through a rucksack on the seat beside her, and the younger sailor hadn't noticed the voyeur. Now, however, she was staring across the room again, eyeing down Julian and his comrade. The old man still hadn't figured out why.
The lady present was Scarlett Grant, a traveller of Elladia and a young lady in need of a ride. She was in her mid twenties, her youth showing through her flawless features; a rather attractive young lady to say the least. Since Julian had entered the bar she had been watching, wondering if he was the one.
As Salazar pondered the thought, meeting the young woman's gaze for a few moments, the front door of the tavern burst open abruptly and three men walked in. Nothing appeared out of place, other than their aggressive arrival, and few of the patrons paid any head to their arrival as the trio stood there at the door, staring over the crowd. The man in front, a towering hulk of a man, locked his eyes on the Master Gunner and grinned, patting his friends on the shoulder. Julian swore.
"Erm... might be time to leave." By the time the old man had finished his sentence the patrons of the tavern had already started screaming and running to the doors. The huge man, as sadistic smiling across his face, had drawn his firearm and let loose a shot across the room at Julian and his comrade. Luckily for the pair, Erm had noticed in time to dive to the floor, pulling the old man with him, and the crack of gunfire followed moments later.
"What the hell is this?!" Erm was lost for words, having hardly heard Julians prior warning. Now the three men who had just entered were storming across the room, pushing patrons out of their way, all three with firearms drawn. The young lady Julian had been watching was also on the move, but hardly heading for the door.
What followed was chaos; totally unprepared, improvised combat that left the room a complete mess. For the old man, his mind had ticked over at the speed of a steam engine, his war time demeanor settling back in, and he lost control for a few moments.
When he came to, standing in the middle of the room with his cane held like a weapon, Julian could hardly recall what had just happened. It had been so long since he had seen combat that his instincts had taken over and his body had outraced his mind. He could remember two things;
Erm taking a blade to his shoulder before the young lady, Scarlett, connected his attackers head with a bar stool with a sickening crunch; Julian flipping a table and firing off a few shots from his old revolver from behind the improvised cover, the bullets tearing into their assailants; and finally the young lady, one of the men on the round writhing in pain, another very clearly dead, gave the brute a finishing kick to the head, dropping the giant man like a sack of potatoes with a loud thud against the wooden floorboards.
Silence followed, save for the soft moans of pain coming from Erm as he struggled across the room to Julian. The three assailants were either dead or unconscious now, the room a mess of broken glass, split drinks and a few splatterings of blood. Julian stood there amongst it all, panting now, his eye firmly locked on the young lady, questioning her allegiance and her abilities after the agility she'd just presented. With that strength and speed he knew she could take him down in a blink of the eye without resistance.
"Erm... you ok?" The old man kept his eye on Scarlett the whole time, still weary of just what was happening, and Erm came to a halt beside the Master Gunner, one hand on his shoulder and one holding himself up against a table.
"What the hell was that?!" Erm cried out, moaning in pain as the movement tugged on his shoulder.
Scarlett, standing over the hulking brute she'd just brought down, stood panting also, staring at the pair. Moments of silence passed, the two staring at one another. Finally, as Erm was about to insist they leave, Julian broke from the woman at looked at his wounded comrade.
"I'm sorry for this, sailor. You need to get back to the ship. Get patched up. Everything's going to be fine." He nodded to the door.
"And don't mention this just yet. Not to anyone. I'll need to get in touch with the Captain, first." He spoke quietly, as if an afterthought, and the young man didn't know how to react. All he could do, after staring at the old man for almost a minute, was nod and leave. He used a bit of his torn tunic to bandage the wound he'd obtained and was gone within moments, headed back to the Steamhawke.
The tavern was deserted now, the patrons and employees long gone. Some were still cowering just outside, staring in at the old man and Scarlett. The old man shook his head inf frustration, in confusion and fear, and hobbled across the room to the young lady, grabbing her by the arm as he headed to the back door.
"Tell me, Miss, what the hell was that?" He kept staring over his should as he led the young lady, who didn't seem to resist at all, through the back door. The pair quickly moved through a small kitchen and found a door leading out to the streets.
"That was the beginning, Julian."