Using my notes from yesterday, here is the next revision. This revision includes details that tie Pudddles and Whiskers to an existing series of stories (yes, will soon show up in the Fiction and all will be getting revisions of their own 🙂 ) and some preexisting characters and locations.
For a brief second, everyone in the ramshackle room stopped fighting at the sound of a frying pan bouncing off a skull. Bouncing back from her fallen foe, Puddles brandished her frying pan above her head in an attack pose at the same time drawing her heavy pistol and shooting another black clad mook charging her.
“Give up will ya!” Puddles shouted at the room full of mooks.
To Puddle’s right, Whiskers knee-slid underneath the sloppy punch of a mook, using his personalized katana to gut the mook as he passed. Popping up from the slide, Whiskers flicked his katana clean of blood, and sought another challenger. Whiskers did not have to wait long; knocking smaller mooks aside with swings of his club, a giant over-muscled mook lumbered straight at Whiskers. Adjusting his grip to a low-position, Whiskers waited for the moment to strike the perfect blow.
Three large blood-spraying holes appeared in the over-muscled mook’s chest. For a brief second, the mook looked surprised before falling over onto his face. Curved knives drawn, three mooks jumped over his body to take his place.
“You’re welcome,” Puddles shouted at Whiskers.
Whiskers shot Puddles an irritated glare before returning his attention to the mooks. Charging the mooks, Whiskers sidestepped the trio to the right; swinging his katana upwards, gutting the right mook as they passed each other. Turning, Whiskers brought his katana down and quickly sliced to the right, killing the other two mooks with one swing.
…other than their labored breathing, the room was silent. Puddles strolled over the trash and dead mooks to Whiskers. Wiping his blade clean on a dead mook, Whiskers faced Puddles, his ears back giving extra body English to his irritation with his longtime partner.
Pointing at the over-muscled mook, “What was that about?”
Puddles shrugged. Her tail lazily waving in an S-pattern that Whisker’s knew so well; her “Oops, did I do that” when she knew full-well what she had done shrug.
“I couldn’t let you have all the fun,” Puddles said over her shoulder, holstering her pistol while stepping over mooks on her way to the door, her tail swishing away as if she did not have a care in the world.
Tail lashing, Whiskers stood for a moment, gripping his katana tightly, before sheathing in one smooth motion. He gave the over-muscled mook one last look before following Puddles out of the room into the refuse and graffiti hallway. The floor cocked downward, ceiling tiles hung ready to fall at any moment, when halfway down the hallway, alarms began to sound and the hallway lights went from white to emergency red.
Puddles looked up at the ceiling, “Seems like and odd security system for a gang.”
“Took them long enough,” Whiskers said to Puddles.
“I thought we made more than enough noise,” Puddles replied.
Whiskers caught Puddles making her infamous, to him, “Who me” gesture; ears forward, eyes wide, and arms held out. He smirked.
“If you weren’t such a push over we wouldn’t be here,” Puddles said while peeking around a corner.
Three days ago...
As soon as he shuffled through front door looking pathetic and desperate in his disheveled clothing and obviously unkempt face, Puddles mentally nicknamed him Doctor Dan. No idea why, but nicknames for new people was a habit of hers, that never failed. Puddles could not make up her mind what bothered her more. After listening to him for five minutes, she understood why Doctor Dan looked disheveled, but still have some self-respect, especially when seeking out help. A quick shake of her head to snap herself out of her current headspace. Doctor Dan was about to become client after all and her feelings about the client, as Whiskers was fond of saying, was not important…or something like that. Doctor Dan reeked of desperation, a very sharp tang in the air. Yep, that was what bothered her more. Whiskers elbowed Puddles in the ribs. She did her best to look attentive.
“…and where did you say your daughters are?”
“Tumbledown block with their boyfriends,” Doctor Dan mumbled at their desktop.
“What?” Puddles asked a bit too loud; she was losing her patience with this desperation reeking hound dog.
“What my associate meant to say, was could you repeat that,” Whiskers coached Doctor Dan.
Puddles let out an exasperated noise, “Yeah that.”
Doctor Dan looked at both of them, his desperation obvious, “Their boyfriends live in a section of Tumbledown. Near the corner of 5th and East Kira. My girls,” his voice caught as he tried to contain his emotions, “they left a week ago. I haven’t heard from them. The police…”
“Won’t do a thing,” Puddles interrupted eager to get him out of the office. “Familiar story. Okay, we’ll take your case.”
“You will?” Doctor Dan surprised.
“Yeah. So let’s talk fees,” Puddles her irritation pushing her on past his suprise.
Whiskers put a paw on her arm, a sign to slow down or stop. “Perhaps we should look into his case first,” Whiskers said in that calm, “I know something you don’t” tone that irritated the hell out her. Puddles cocked her right ear at him while flattening the left. “Fine, we will talk bill later.”
“But…” Doctor Dan started.
“Yeah, we got this Doc,” Puddles interrupted.
Watching Doctor Dan’s hover merge into traffic from their office window, Puddles looked at Whiskers, the end of her tail snapping back and forth, she was irritated. “Look into his case? What the hell?”
Leaning against their desk, one-half immaculate, the other half distressed, Whiskers calmly replied, “Did you even pay attention to the location he gave?”
“Doctor Dan said something about Tumbledown. Yeah I heard.”
“Wait, Doctor Dan? Another of your pirate nicknames?” Whiskers asked amused.
Puddles turned from the window waving off Whisker’s questions with a wave of her paw. Grabbing her favorite “Mother’s Favorite Kitty” coffee mug, Puddles began to make coffee, “Okay, so he said something about Tumbledown. Want some coffee?”
“A cup sounds great. Name a part of Tumbledown not home to a gang, criminal organization, unregistered, ghouls, or about to collapse at a moment’s notice?”
“Oh that,” Puddles began trying to sound like she knew that all along, “we should look into his case first.”
Two days ago…
Stepping out onto the Stroud Police Divisions 40th hover port the wind pushed their fur back uncomfortably. Whiskers swiped through several pages of data on his phone that Detective Orte gave them about the gangs of Tumbledown, “Puddles, you should read this, seems that several of the gangs are being financed by local corporations through backchannels. At least that is how this report reads; upgraded weapons, cyber, and so on.”
Before Puddles could respond her phone chirped, flipping her phone open, “You got Puddles. Oh hi mom.”
Whiskers smiled, he always enjoyed the mental and verbal gymnastics Puddles had to go through when her mother called unexpectedly. The conversation continued across the hover port and despite the high winds and sounds of hovers coming and going.
“Fine. I’m on a case. Yes, on a case. Do you want to talk to Whiskers, he’s right here. Fine. Okay mom. Yes, I will return the frying pan.” With that Puddles closed her phone and gave Whiskers her “what are you going to do” face.
“You really should buy your own frying pan,” he said as he opened the car doors.
One day ago…
Nothing about this case made any sense. A search and several vid-conversations later, Puddles learned much to her amusement, Doctor Dan was a doctor. Not a doctor doctor, instead working for Titan Industries, part of their pharmacology division. Other than a parking ticket, there was nothing about him. If he had any children neither Puddles nor Whiskers had been able to discover information about them.
Together with the paid assistance of Eth, a cymean fence, they confirmed that the location was home to the Black Myst a gang with connections. What connections, Eth could not say for sure, but for a few more isstas, hinted that the gang had access to newer weapons and one of the better drug packages.
Back to the present…
Whiskers stood back against the graffiti covered wall next to the door, one paw on his blade. He leaned forward putting an ear against the door; plenty of noise from the other side, nothing specific. Crouching in front of the door, pistol and frying pan held ready, looked toward Whiskers, who nodded as he took a step back before kicking the door in. Puddles immediately sprang into the room, rolling across the refuse. Popping in front of a large crowd of vapeheads pistol and frying pan held out at the crowd staring at her, “Nobody move!”
Every vapehead ran for the exit; unfortunately, the nearest exit was the door and most of the people bolted out of the room through the door she had just rolled through, keeping Whiskers in the hallway. Standing up from the ruins of a couch, two scowling mooks in black stood up, “We’re moving,” one of them growled.
“So this is how you want to play it,” Puddles said as she leveled her pistol at the mooks.
Around both mooks a purplish haze appeared, personal shields. Puddles scrunched her nose from the stench of burnt ozone caused by the shields. The talking mook drew a large caliber pistol from her waistline. Mook to the left took a hit from a vape inhaler, the effect obvious as he roared and charged her, popping razorclaws and elbowblades.