The loud bang against metal and yelling of her name came from behind her closed door. She gave a snarl and from behind the rusted metal desk. Her slender, curved frame sat hunched over her work. Long, straight black hair lingered over her face as she stared at that door. One almond shaped blue eye and one similarly shaped green eye watched the door. Black coal outlined and faded out along her eyes into a smokey effect upon her skin. She used it for intimidation to highlight her strangely colored eyes, and it helped create unease from their intensity. It was hard enough to get older people to listen to her, so she used everything she could do to avoid physical confrontations. She had the skills to take down a full grown man without a second thought, but she had yet to need to show that side of her. The former leader of this group had taken her in two years ago and entrusted her as his right-hand, which gave way for her to take his place upon his untimely demise. There were rumors she had a part in what transpired, but there was no proof of it.
From the urgency in the sound, something was happening, but she still hated being disturbed. She had plans strewn over her desk for new tunnels and accesses to new cities. They had just breached new ground and needed to secure their access points while maintaining the tunnel’s structural integrity. But the yelling and the pounding didn’t stop. She rose from behind the desk and went to her door to open it. “What is it?” Her voice gave hints to her oriental lineage, but the states had been the only home she had ever known. That question was demanded from the man that stood in front of her, but his face was all she needed to see that his reaction wasn’t disingenuous.
“Armed men are flooding the tunnels. They’re heading this way we need to go.” The man was young, around mid twenties with a ragged beard. It looked like he attempted to keep up with trimming it, but had little luck. The clothes he wore were covered in dirt, fading the blue color of his jeans and the green color of the buttoned shirt. His blonde hair was as haphazard as his beard with its length pinned back to keep out of his face.
“Have we evacuated the others?” Silurian said with concern in her voice. They couldn’t just leave her people behind to be murdered or worse.
“There’s too many of them. I don’t know who we still have and don’t. We need to go now!” The blonde man grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to follow him down the corridor. The tunnels were lit, but the lights were varied in dimness and shape from whatever they could find to use. Each light about six feet apart, just enough to light the way without having to use resources unnecessarily. They moved swiftly until they reached the access hub to the other tunnels. It was a large circular room with two other exits, but all they could see were men and a few women with guns of various sizes and designs. Each exit tunnel was blocked off except from where they came, at least until they blocked even that off. Silurian turned around to see their exit close by the imposing features of these people. She moved in closer to the middle of the room with her companion before some of those men rushed forward and shoved them both down onto their knees. They were searched for weapons and the men took a knife from the holster at her thigh. Silurian breathed deeply, trying to control her emotions and outward appearances as they sat vulnerable within the crowd. The black corset vest she wore seeming to garner a fair amount of attention from the line of men in front of her. Gross.
It was then that a strange noise diverted her attention. It was hard to make out with the commotion of the men until they went silent. A bang of metal upon metal heard rhythmically from beyond sight. The crowd moved back to give room to a man clad in a black. In his hand was something Silurian hadn’t expected to see. The clamoring upon the pieces of sheet rock and metal that laced the underground tunnels had been from the club ended mace he carried. Silurian’s hair hid her face, her eyes peering through those long black bangs to see the ruggedly handsome man towering over her. He had the most grating amused grin upon his face within a short beard, dark hair upon his head was also cut short but long enough to slick back in a classic fashion. He wore a black leather jacket and matching black jeans. Two belts were around his waist, one for those dark pants and another for a fairly impressive buck knife. It seemed to be his only weapon, except for the one in his gloved hand. There was just something with those sharp angles and spikes upon the clubbed end that made a person cringe. Which undoubtedly was the point. His dark eyes were intense while he stared down at them, seemingly in a manner of deciding who was his first target. Whether it was for the target of that mace, or for interrogation was left to be seen.
“So just what do you have to say for yourself, for your people?” Heavy boots thudded against the dirt floor as the strange man came forward to stand in front of the blonde man.
“Leave him alone.” Silurian snapped quickly, not wanting this brute to do anything to her friend.
“I’ll get to you in a moment, sweet cheeks just wait.”
“She’s the leader.” A voice came up from the crowd at the sides to interrupt his attempt to reign down upon the man too quickly.
“Her? No shit? Well, surprise the fuck out of me.” He looked genuinely surprised as his attention turned fully to Silurian now, giving a side step so he was standing right before her. “Let me look at you.” The man spoke with his deep gravelly voice while he eased the mace up close to Silurian’s face, using it to move her long hair back away from her face in a surprisingly careful manner. He really didn’t want to yank her hair out, just move it. “Holy shit. Where the hell did you come from? Those eyes are creepy as shit. And that little smokey stink eye thing you got going. No wonder people follow your orders. Damn. Here I was thinking some old subway man orchestrated all of this underground shit, but here you are. Are you even fucking legal? Even had your cherry,” he even made a popping noise before he continued, “popped? You just intimidate the shit out of anyone weak enough to cross your path, huh?” His words were a relentless barrage of questions and prodding to see if she would twitch or crumble. He was looking for a weakness and was not finding any.
“You have no idea what I’m capable of.” Silurian’s voice was defiant but calm, her poise was unaltered even with the sharp weapon so close. She was in a losing situation, but she wasn’t about to let the man think he intimidated her in the slightest degree. Her body was on the ground, on her knees as they had physically instructed her, her hands resting on her legs with no inclination that she was going to do anything rash.
“You’re probably right.” He placed both hands tightly around the handle of his beloved mace. “But you’re sure as shit going to find out what, I am.” Without a second thought that metal instrument moved up into the air. Silurian half expected it to land right down on her head, but she only felt the warm splash of liquid upon her face before she realized what had happened. Her companion crumbled down onto the floor before her, blood and bone exposed from his head before another crash of that mace came down. One crunch after another until blood pooled around that body and her own. Only when the man became winded did he finally stop and stand upright again. He wiped some blood from his face with his gloved hand as he worked to catch the breath in his lungs.
Even as her companion was being beaten to a pulp, she remained stoic in that kneeled position, with her head held up high. He may have hindered her, but he hadn’t broken her. If he had wanted her to cry, to scream, that wasn’t an emotion she dared to express in that horrific moment.
“I. Am. Sorry. I’ve been fucking rude. I’m Valen. These are my soldiers. You quit moving north with your shit. Stay away from my buildings and my land. I so much as hear a fucking whisper about you little underground shits and I will be back to finish the fucking job. Then you’ll be working for me or under me.” He grinned as he added that double entendre statement while his tongue rolled out over his lower lip. “Got it?” Fortunately for Silurian, Valen had admired her spunk. The way she sat unflinching even after such a gruesome act was commendable.
Those eyes almost sparkled as she turned them up to the man’s face and looked squarely into his own. “Got it.” Silurian was angry, seething on the inside. She was in a dangerous situation and provoking the man would not help her or anyone else that remained within her community. Just from the armed men that surrounded her, not to mention her friend on the floor, she knew she drew the lucky straw.
“But hey,” Valen didn’t seem to be finished and crouched down right in front of her again so he could get an even better view at her angular face. “We aren’t fucking monsters. If you need help, find that this little underground ship of yours is fucking sinking. The men just aren’t seeing things your way. Just come on over and ask Daddy Valen for help.” His gloved hand reached out to brush over her cheek while he kept that charming smile playing upon his lips. “I’ll take care of everything.” He couldn’t help leaving an opportunity to help a pretty lady. Not that she realized that the fact that he was even leaving her community alone was a huge favor by itself.
He rose back up to his feet, that smirk still on his face as she gave no inclination of a response to his offer. As he walked away, a scrawny dark long-haired man caught up in stride with Valen. “You sure about this? Just going to let them go?”
“That, right there, is a fucking predator. You see those eyes? I’m not fucking with that shit. But if you want to live down here…” Valen turned his head to his right-hand man as he smirked jokingly. He offered the man a chance to stay and babysit, but he figured that wasn’t precisely an ideal position for him. In reality, Valen didn’t enjoy picking on the underdog, especially a female underdog. They crossed a line, invaded his land, but no one was killed nor was anything taken. He really just had to mark his territory, and he felt that was handled sufficiently enough for now.
“No…that’s fine.” Valen’s man was quick to interject the thought of being stuck down underground in what seemed like haphazard tunnels didn’t sit well with him anymore than it did in that moment. How did these people know the ceilings would hold?
“That’s what I thought. Move them out.” Valen barked the order as he turned to immortalize, the view of the defiant woman knelt by the man that served for the Underground’s punishment in his mind. He may end up regretting this, but even if he did, he had no problems raining hell down upon them for it. A part of him even hoped they would screw it up and he could spend some more quality time with the scary eyed Asian. When he finally turned to leave, his beloved weapon was resting upon his shoulder, blood dripping onto his jacket along with his steps.
The man was finally leaving. He gave his message, turned heel and left with his men. She would heed his warning, revise their tunnels and their defenses. This was an unfortunate learning experience, and she was determined they would rise from it like a phoenix from the ashes.