As a convergence point for characters, Eth’s Tale needs to have a flow and connection that is obvious without me spelling it out or at least I would like that to be the case. This revision and expansion does a better job of connecting John. The next revision will better connect Talia.
“We have tried.
We have failed.
A family is only as strong as those who take part. Even a family has to let go of those who refuse to work with the family. With this symbolic act, Eth-il-Liccon is no longer a member of the family. He is free to do as he pleases. He will no longer bring shame upon the rest of us. Aliq-tal-ummar.”
A single flame illuminating the room extinguished with a single, soft breath.
Eth woke up with a start; a momentary panic as he tried to remember where he was; blankets tangled around his feet.
A quick breath.
A glance around.
Kicking the sheets onto the floor, Eth realized he was in his bed, in his apartment.
Damn his father.
Damn his family.
Eth hated that dream.
Eth walked into the bathroom, mentally vowing today would be the day he showed his family he was worthy. Today, first step towards returning home.
Fuming about the nature of fairness and life being against him…
Stuck in a long line, “Why had the deities cursed him today? If this old herg woman could make up her mind and order her coffee, he would not be running late for a meeting. Why were people always getting in his way, making him late?”
White knuckle grip on the steering wheel, mentally cataloging the moment, “Are all of the traffic lights working against me? Red light! Red light! Another red light! And this car, this damn Big One Mouse!”
Stuck again, Eth looked up, wishing he had a hover or flying car. An angry horn behind him, a space in front of him. Looking at his skin watch, late for the meeting.
Pulling into a parking spot outside NiHo’s Noodle Shack next to four heavily modified hover bikes each bearing a holo-motion Redhand logos, an open hand blood dripping down.
Eth readied himself for the meeting. A brief spike of panic, he couldn’t find the issta-cred-stick. Entering the alley behind NiHo’s, panic subsiding when he found the cred-stick in a different pocket. The stench of the alley causing him to gag. Water, he hoped, dripped down on his head, cymeans had very sensitive scalps, causing him to flinch. Down the alley, rough laughter of the gromathi gang members. Adjusting his jacket, his very expensive mem-ware jacket, Eth strode into the meeting.
“What?” Eth said in a panic, “I came alone. I don’t hear anything.”
The youngest gang member yanked a serrated blade from the back of his jacket. The oldest gang member looking around the alley waved an augmented arm towards Eth. The other gang members moved around the alley, hands on weapons searching for whatever made the noise. Knife in hand advancing on Eth, who put his hands up in the universal sign of “don’t hurt me.” “Just a second, can we make the exchange? There’s nobody here. Nobody came with me and nobody followed me here. I promise,” Eth said rapidly while trying to control the panic and keeping the kid away from him.
Without any warning, the gromathi with the augmented arm at fell over, clutching his neck. Backing away from the knife-wielding ganger, Eth kept his hands up. A second before Eth’s vision vanished, the knife-wielding ganger’s head exploded, spraying blood over Eth’s face. Blinded, Eth fell onto his knees. Please don’t let this be the end, Eth thought.
From the shadows…
From his vantage point on a ledge above the meeting spot, John watched the Red Hands arrive. Until Eth walked into the scene they discussed absolutely nothing of interest to John. Hoping to catch something of use, John waited.
Everyone, including John, jumped when someone tripped over a can or some piece of debris. The sound echoed throughout the alley, John slid deeper into his corner, pulling his gun, while scanning for who made the noise. Below, Eth’s meet went south.
Aiming, John shot the leader while dropping into the alley behind the gangers. Next shot put the knife-wielding ganger down. Third shot, took out a knee. The fourth shot, took down the last ganger. Walking past the only ganger alive towards Eth, John knocked him unconscious with a kick.
Helping Eth stand, “Looks like you owe me again. Quit sobbing, you can get another suit.”