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  • Kevi, Vannon, Coaxoch, Timeon, Jaksor, Bafaloukos
  • Halyard Antiques

A shadow appears in the doorway to the back room, a bright pair of eyes, one violet, one solid white--a muzzle slowly creeps out of the shadow and into the light from a weathered hole in the roof, illuminating the unconcerned features of a disfigured vixen. Kevi wanders around the room, paw dragging across the damp, dusty surfaces of chests, wiping the black sludge onto the edges of the shelves beneath, holding up the locks of some, and letting them fall back with a dull clank. She folds her paws, waiting for the others to drag in their catch.

Vannon whistles while he works. Admittedly a little poorly as he polishes an urn. Why the store had an urn to begin with will forever be a mystery along with who it belongs to. The blue marble is quite pretty the fox thinks, dumping the ash into a trash can and then setting it on a near by table. "Viola...instant flower pot."

How quiet it is that night, late enough that most of the beasts who were out on the streets for a bit of late night marketing have packed up and gone home with their finds or their wares. Naturally this means that certain residents of Halyard are going to get an unpleasant visit from one of the local gang's enforcers who want their cut of the day's profits. Coaxoch has been slinking around, waiting until he caught sight of one of the enforcers. Now there's a sudden series of loud swearing outside the antique store, followed by a loud bang against the door that doesn't quite sound like knocking. This is followed by "Ow! My bloody 'ead!" The front door is thrown open and the frilled lizard and his squirming, thrashing ferret charge enter, with Coaxoch kicking the door closed behind him. He calls out, "We have guessst!" He doesn't seem to care one bit that his tail, in an effort to get the ferret to stop moving so much by giving him a firm whack, tipped over a large vase in the process. Oops.

Timeon starts awake at the sound of the slamming door and pokes his head from behind a shelf. It's going to take some doing to make this shop look presentable, and a wildly unfair proportion of that doing is being done by the young fox... just not at this very moment. His clothes and fur are thick with dust, and his sleeves are rolled back, testament to his labors earlier in the day--before he managed to elude Bafa long enough to steal a little shut-eye in a corner of the crowded back room.

Jaksor has been lurking in the shadows of the shop, having done as much heavy lifting as he can and being little good with the curios they're attempting to salvage due to the curio of his own strapped on the end of his left arm. As Coaxoch enters with his 'guest', the lean brawn of the hob uncoils itself from the darkness and steps out into the dappled moonlight of the room. That wicked point comes whispering through the quasilight, coming to rest beneath the ferret's chin and bringing an abrupt halt to his struggles. "Glad t' see y've got a realistic outlook on life, lad," the polecat growls menacingly.

Leaning over the whistling fox, the vixen grins, turning her head to the side and closing the distance between her nose and his cheek, "Shiny. But you missed a spot--wouldn't want to conceal one bit of that handsome tod staring back at you." She rustles his headfur, bolting upright at the sound of a crashed vase and all the commotion, looking back down at Vannon, "Better hold onto that, I hear a big, clumsy lizard tail thrashing about. And I think things are going to get distracting very quickly, might as well put it away altogether." She leans over the other side of the tod, behind him, supporting herself on his shoulders, to get a better view through the doorway.

Bafaloukos pursues the lizard and captive into the room, dodging futile flails by the latter as he briskly moves past. His auburn hair is extra tousled, and lower lip puffy and dribbling blood. Their friend really must have disliked the idea of this adventure. He clears his throat, glancing to Jaksor. "Thought ye' might wanna' 'ave a chat with this one, boss."

Vannon blushes under his grey fur. The moment passes quickly though and the fox picks himself up from the table, "Might want to find out what the cat dragged in...so to speak...out there...with the others." Vannon moves quickly to the door and joins the bandits in the other room. "So...another recuit or..." he lets the statement hang in the air.

Noticably, the ferret's arm hangs limp at his side, dangling uselessly. It appears that Coaxoch got control of the situation by breaking the hob's arm. Keeping him restrained, the ferret ends up perfectly still as Jaksor's hook ends up under his chin, though Coaxoch seems to be taking sadistic pleasure in applying slight pressure against his back that makes him lean forwards juuuuuust enough for the point to dig into the rival gang member's throat. Rather than being deterred, the enforcer seems to have let his position make him rather full of himself. Probably thinks he's immortal. He hocks back a nice bit of phlegm and spits it in Jaksor's direction. "Got a realistic outlook on death too, scumsucker! Yer gonna regret messin' with Splint the Enforcer!"

The loogie lands on Jaksor's tunic, dribbling its viscous path down the front of his garb as the polecat blinks, frowning. "Hm. Looks like I was wrong about y', boy," he mutters, swiping at the sticky patch with his paw. "Ain't that a /shame/." The growling emphasis on the last word coincides with a flip of the hook that sends it crashing into the meat of the ferret's shoulder, giving it a twist to clarify the direness of the situation as his brown eyes glare into the other's.

Content to let the polecat and lizard deal with Splint, Bafaloukos makes a leisurely stroll around the shop, appraising any improvements made by the grunts he left behind. A smirk of mild satisfaction tugs at his mouth, which evidently reminds the fox of his broken lip, because he brings the back of a hand up to rub at the sanguine mess. It works, somewhat. He folds arms over his chest and leans against the doorway to the back room, looking like a proper menace.

Kevi watches Vannon go, until she notices her brother. "Baf got you slaving for him, huh? You need to stick up for yourself, Teemers, or I predict the role will stick until an even more timid runt comes along." She smirks, "Nice hiding place, though. C'mon." She pads into the front room with the rest, standing next to Baf, frowning up at his bloody lip, "You going t'be alright there? I can close that up with something if you're not busy..." She observes him inspecting Timeon's job, "He's a hard-worker, my brother. Proud of what he does, despite the attitude."

Vannon raises another eyebrow at the wounded fox and dispairingly wounded ferret. "Ah. Dinner it is then. Is this what we have come to? Hunting stray ferrets for meat?" vannon shrugs, tieing his cloth like a bib around his neck, "Fine I call dibs on the dark meat. Try not to damage his hide, we can sell it later..."

The cocky look vanishes from the ferret's face almost immediately as the hook stabs into his shoulder, the twist making him actually press back against Coaxoch's chest just to try and get away from it. There's no scream- well... not an audible one. Coaxoch, on cue, has clamped his fingers around Splint's muzzle, holding it shut so that he can't cry out and ruin the antique store's reputation more than it already was. Though Split is too busy screaming to hear Vannon, the lizard grins, though it's impossible to tell whether he likes the idea, or just gets the joke.

Timeon scowls through the doorway at his sister as thanks for her calling attention to him. He rises from behind the pile of ruined shelving and enters the front room. He swallows hard at the sight of the suffering ferret but makes a visible effort to smile. "Give me a go at 'im!" he says--though it would sound more convincing if his voice didn't crack in the middle.

Jaksor appreciates Timeon's willingness, and his appearance does lend him a certain frightening aspect at first glance, but the polecat has the situation well in hand. The hook is withdrawn with a soft squelch, and returned to its position tickling at the ferret's throat. "Now. Let's try again, fr'm th' beginnin'. I'm gonna ask y' some questions, an' if I like th' answer, nothin' happens. If'n I don't, then we'll 'ave round two on y'r other shoulder." It's a game, really! "Savvy?"

Bafaloukos' left ear swivels in annoyance as the vixen rattles on about chores. This one talks too much. Though his arms stay folded, he lifts an index and middle finger from his bicep in a gesture of dismissive approval. Gold eyes remain fixed on the trio at center stage, their actions spotlit by the yellow light of an oil lamp. When Timeon materializes at the threshold, Bafaloukos moves just enough to block his path. "Chief gets 'im first," he says. "You c'n 'ave a couple teeth an' some ribs if there's any left when 'e's done with 'im." The smile that follows reopens his split black lip, and a rivulet of new blood runs for his chin.

Vannon's suggestion gets a raised eyebrow from Kevi, and the vixen decides the subject material is above her cut off for Timeon. She pads quickly over to the younger tod and stands between him and Baf, paws on his shoulders and leaning over a bit so they're eye to eye with each other, looking back at the older fox with a soul-piercing stare, before turning back to her brother, her voice low. "I said stand up for yourself, not terrify your sister by volunteering as a henchfox. Now, I think I sniffed powder in the other room, and there's a section we still haven't inventoried, with lots of smaller boxes. The odds 'n ends need to be accounted for, and maybe we should keep them 'safe' from the others' quick paws, if you know what I'm saying? Hm?" She gives him a wink.

Timeon scowls at his sister--it's reflexive--but his expression softens at the mention of powder. The edge of his mouth tweaks upward and he nods knowingly. Maybe she is on his side after all. "Fine," he says. Then, before leaving, he nods toward Split and very quietly asks, "He'll be all right, yeah?" He lingers a second, then goes into the back room to take inventory.

The grey fox Vannon passes a glance between the vixen and her brother. "Fine, I can see where I am on the pecking order. After ol' scaly gets done filling his gut there wont be anything left but the fluff of his tail." The fox come upon his fellow vulpine, slapping him on the shoulder, "Let's say you and me take a walk afterward. You know...away from here and the...uh..."Vannon casts a warry glance at the ferret. "Point is lets just make ourselves usefull elsewhere before the screaming...er...boss finds something for us to be usefull here with..."

Once Jaksor takes his hook out of Splint's arm, Coaxoch lets go of his muzzle, the hob panting harshly, his chest heaving from the pain. At least the pain seems to have made him more pliable, and he gives Jaksor a nod, swallowing against the point of the hook. "Fine, curse ya, fine! Ask yer questions." Helpfully, Coaxoch decides to add. "If ferret not answer good, Coaxoch glad to peel ferret like orange!"

The vixen's brazen intrusion diverts Bafaloukos' attention from the show. He steps out of her way, snout wrinkling in a farrago of vexation and disgust. If her stare was meant to intimidate him, Kevi rolls a critical miss. The disheveled scoundrel matches it, but when she turns, he continues to watch the siblings, increasingly nettled by their secrets. It looks as if he is about to say something, but Vannon cuts in before Bafaloukos has a chance. Grumpily, he sinks back into the wall.

"'ear that?" Jaksor murmurs to the ferret, nodding up at the lizard holding him still. "Only reason he ain't already cut y' inta strips t' dry is because'a /me./ Now, let's get started on them questions." The hook relaxes a fraction of an inch to give the ferret ample room to move his mouth while speaking, but still close enough to threaten serious harm. "Who's runnin' th' show 'round this place? Who d' ye answer to?"

"He'll... he'll be fine." She lies, most likely, and watches Vannon go with Timeon. She doesn't like that fox's ideas, and she'll be sure to ask her closest of kin just what came up in conversation. Or maybe she has him on too tight a leash. Turning into their mother. "No." She shakes her head, looking around to see if her voiced thoughts attracted any odd stares. "Maybe we oughtta start over, and I'll just work my charm on one of 'em? Violence is violence--if this one talks, he'll go back to violence. If he doesn't talk, he'll get it here. At least if they don't know I'm with you bunch, maybe we'll have a chance." She rolls her eyes and catches Baf's for a moment before crossing to the opposite side of the room to him.

Being a spectator to the polecat and lizard's coordinated abuse of Splint is fun, but now comes the bit that really piques Bafaloukos' interest. Both ears spring to attention, ready to catch every morsel of information that might spill form the broken mustelid. It's not that the old fox gets his kicks from viewing this sort of thing, but that ferret stole a good punch or two. They simply can't let that sort of misbehavior fly. He makes sure to glare at Kevi as she moves through the room, before returning his focus to the trio.

Splint's mouth opens and closes a few times, and there's a few stuttering syllables as he realizes that he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. The ferret shakes his head. "Listen, I can't! He'll hurt me ever worse than you lot if I talk! Ask me something else, c'mon, be mates!" Coaxoch doesn't damage Splint further, but rather looks at Jaksor, waiting for an order or for Jaksor himself to administer some pain, assuming that the ferret has used up his last chance to make things easier on himself.

"Splint th' Splint 'as a nice ring to it, don't you think?" The question is for Coaxoch as Jaksor looks up at the lizard past the ferret's head, and without waiting for an answer, digs the hook hard into the hob's un-punctured shoulder. "'C'mon, be mates!'" he imitates, pushing the implement deeper, the inner curve sharpened to a razor's edge and slicing almost eagerly through the skin, slowed only by Jaksor's excruciating pace. "Now be a mate an' tell me what I want t' know!"

A rock and a hard place might be preferrable to this rusty hook and cannibal lizard. And then there is the motley fox pack. Bafaloukos is usually a patient fellow, but tonight he has no humor for bull. Vacating his wallflower post, the tod saunters over to Jaksor and Coaxoch. "Y'know, Jaks..." He stops, permits Splint a critical once over, and continues: "This one may not be ready to talk. But I bet 'is wife would be willin'. She looked like she 'ad 'alf a brain in 'er head, and a mind t' keep 'er skin intact."

Again Coaxoch has to clamp his fingers around the hob's mouth to keep his screams from rattling the rafters, holding his mouth shut so that the most that can be heard is a frantic "Mmmmmmph!" sound repeated over and over. As the pain starts to became more managable, or at least when Splint gets tired of screaming, his muzzle is let go of, just in time for him to hear Bafaloukos' threat. "Ya wouldn't! Fine! Fine! Hellgates just stop!" Panting, with his body going half limp from fatigue against Coaxoch, he spills the beans. "It's a toad named Dillinger! I don't know where he lives, we meet in a different place every time he needs to talk to us! That's all I bloody know!"

Once the name is finally out, Jaksor gives an approving nod, withdrawing his hook. "There, that ain't so bad, Splint." He gives the ferret a toothy grin, plucking up a dirty rag from the floorboards to wipe the blood from his hook. "No need t' be unreasonable." The polecat gives Coaxoch a look. "He knows where we are, since y' brought 'im in eyes open. Can't let 'im sound th' alarm jus' yet. I don't care how y' do it or what y' do with 'im after."

Bafaloukos palms his fuzzy chin, thumb gingerly probing the fissure in his lip. It has swollen significantly, which renders the fox a bit pouty and wild; perhaps the hand is meant to cover his shame. "Dillinger, eh?" he echoes with a cool nod. "An' a toad. Can't be too many o' them around, eh, boys?" Soon to be one fewer, at that. The hand falls from his mouth, revealing his own awful grin. "Thank ye' f'r comin' to your senses, mate," he tells Splint. "I'm sure your wife will be grateful." With that, the fox throws a sudden hard punch into Splint's belly. Then another, aimed right beneath his chin.

Splint's eyes widen with fear as he realizes just what Jaksor meant. "Wait... yer not lettin' me go? But I told ya everythin'! C'mon, I won't tell nobeast!" The hob is cut short as Bafaloukos hits him twice, Coaxoch very helpfully holding him still so his vulpine companion can get in a good pair of hits. No sooner is Bafaloukos done than Coaxoch starts to haul off the ferret, dragging him out the door as he struggles. "No! Just let me go!" He doesn't get much more time to protest, as the lizard's hand covers his mouth, dragging Splint out the door and away from Halyard... and into the woods. Splint probably won't be seen again in any state someone would want to see him in.

As Splint is dragged away, Jaksor turns his attention to Bafaloukos. "I expect that kinda oversight from a cannibal lizard, but I'd thought someone like /you/ would 'ave th' sense t' blindfold 'im or knock 'im out cold before bringin' 'im back to our hideout," he grumbles, still polishing the blood away from his hook. "We want t' /take over,/ not eliminate."

Bafaloukos hangs his head in melodramatic apology, defensive palms held out to Jaksor. They turn over as his arms extend in a wide, rueful shrug. "Put up a good fight f'r a skinny guy," the fox laments. "We did what we could." He avoids eye contact, clearing his throat. "They'll miss 'im f'r a moon, an' he'll be forgotten. Plenty of ferret goons left in the world."

"Not if we 'ave t' kill 'em all," Jaksor replies, making for the door. The polecat desires a change of scenery. "Y' have t' be realistic about these things," he explains as he steps outside and vanishes into the street.