The thin man turned to the girl, still crouched on the floor, and gestured for her to come over. The girl walked past, not giving Taia so much as another look, and stood beside the man, head tilted slightly.
“Our thirteen year old is obviously tougher than she looks.” He began, in that velvet smooth voice, “I can’t find a pulse”
The girl frowned. “He’s not dead.” She told him, “The ring isn’t cold.”
“Ah, well then, we have a problem.”
“We usually get one of those.”
“Hmm, I’ve noticed that too.”
“So, how do we solve this problem?”
“The same way we solve every other problem”
“Kicking people very hard in the face?”
“Possibly. But first we need to ask questions”
The girl sagged, “But kicking is more fun,”
“Questions first, then kicking.” He looked up at her, “I promise,”
The girl didn’t reply.
“Extra kicking then. And you can throw a few punches too, if you like.”
“Fine,” she sighed, “Who do we talk to?”
“Our first source, would be the bad guy, but he’s not alive. So–”
“He’s not dead either.” The girl pointed out.
“Correct. So we talk to the next best person. The one who killed him. Or didn’t kill him.”
“Would she fall under that category?” The girl suggested, tilting her head towards Taia.
“Yes.” The man got to his feet, “She certainly would.”
Taia stood, somewhat amused by the conversation, as the pair approached her.
“What did you do to him?” The man asked.
“Nothing. I just hit him a few times.” She paused, before correcting herself, “Many times.”
“Yet we find ourselves in this perplexing situation. It’d save a lot of time if you told us why this is.” The man’s voice was suggestive, yet firm. He knew what he was talking about. “You can get to work building a house from cardboard boxes, and we can get to work kicking people very hard in the face.”
“The quicker you tell us, the quicker we get to kick people. And the kicking is fun.” The girl added.
“I’m not sure you’re interrogating the right person here, Sherlock,” Taia’s gaze was locked onto the man’s imperfect eyes. Her gaze travelled down, just a little, and she noticed that his skin didn’t look right, either. It had a slightly waxy appearance.
“Then who should I be interrogating?” He asked blankly.
“I don’t know.” She shrugged. “But my first guess would be them”.
The detectives turned simultaneously, and froze, as three muscular men leapt from the rooftops. They were hooded, but Taia could tell from their postures that they weren’t happy. They stepped forward silently, eyes somewhere between the ground and the three people looking back them.
“Now can we kick people?” The girl asked her companion, her voice poisoned with sarcasm.
“Yes, Valkyrie, now we kick people.”
Two men leaped at the detectives, who immediately began throwing punches and kicks, while the third went for Taia. He swung his right arm at her face but she was prepared and ducked beneath it, only to crash into the left, which had been hiding in ambush. Grunting, she pushed her own fist into his gut, another racing to his face as he doubled over.
She aimed another set of knuckles at his nose, but it was stopped short of its target by a rock solid shape that closed around her wrist and twisted until a crack was heard. The man withdrew his hand, before sending it to her face as she clutched her injured arm.
More fists flew at her face and she pulled up her hand to block her face, biting back the agonizing pain that was writhing up her left arm. It became clear that her hands were not enough when she found herself on the floor, the man looming above her, sending his feet full speed at her useless body.
From the corner of her eye, Taia could just about make out the fights of the detectives. She could have sworn she saw the red-orange glow of fire, but dismissed it as pain impeding her vision, as the man’s feet stopped and he leaned down, reaching to pin her to the floor. Taking a deep breath, putting the pain to the back of her mind, and mustering up all of her negative emotions, from the day she last saw her father, to the happenings just seconds ago, she converted it to anger, which flooded her mind, pushing energy through her veins, giving her a fresh rush of power, which accompanied her blood as it surged through her body.
She lashed out, fists, knees, elbows, and feet attacking the man until he fell. She threw punch after punch to his chin, each blow throwing his chin back a little further than the previous one. Eventually, the man fell.
She was still pinned to the ground, but at least now the man keeping her there was unconscious. All she had to do was get free. She pushed, kicked and rolled, but he was too heavy. The man wasn’t budging. She looked around, desperately, and caught sight of her jacket, which was still laid on the floor, where her first opponent had left it. It wasn’t far from her, and if she could just reach it she would definitely have the help that she needed.
She reached out with one arm, attempting to shuffle a little closer to the jacket. Her outstretched arm wasn’t far from the jacket now, just a little farther. Heavy footsteps echoed around her and she looked up to see another man, sprinting towards the detectives. He didn’t even seem to notice Taia or the unconscious man pinning her to the ground, until he was falling, balance upset by the bodies that had tripped him up.
Suddenly, Taia was free, and the other man was lying unconscious beside her. She leapt up, just in time to see the man who had tripped return to his feet, too. She ducked beneath his punches, and past elbows, returning her own, having now found the energy that she needed. She found the rhythm of the man’s attacks and worked to intercept it. Thinking about it, this man fought in a way which was very similar, if not the same, to how the previous man had. Throw all of your weight into each punch, keep them fluent, stop for nothing. They both focused primarily on using fists and feet, showing a distinct lack of elbows and attempts at holds of any sort.
Once she’d figured this out, the fight became even easier, and the man was soon out cold, alongside his companion.
Taia stepped back and wiped the blood from her face. She remembered her jacket, still lying on the floor, and went to retrieve it. Pulling her arms through the sleeves she started towards the detectives, who were both still battling their own attackers. She began to run, not yet sure which man she’d help take down, but was stopped dead in her tracks when they changed their method of fighting. For it was no longer punches that they were throwing, but fire.
҉ ҉ ҉
P.S. Sorry about the wait. But I have Chapter 4 written up, because originally, it was all one chapter. But I thought it was a nice place to end, so meh. I'll have Chapter 4 up soon. :)
P.P.S. Thanks for reading. :D