“There’s no warning rattle at the door.” he said, his voice booming out of his ribs like a rhino out of a cage, “That means you can come in without knocking!” Gearan was a thirty some man built like a golem. He had shoulders like an ox’s and arms that could lift almost twice his own weight. His legs were hard as steel, making him more nimble than most. He had a large beard that covered most of his face and long auburn hair that fell behind his shoulders. Gearan had built and owned the tavern before the city grew and engulfed it. He had gone from fighting boars and raiders with his battle-axes to fighting scrummy kids looking for trouble with wooden clubs and a rusty firearm. His tavern was known throughout the city as being one of the safest, cosiest place to spend the night.
That night, Gearan’s booming voice welcomed an unexpected guest. Outside his door stood a small, cloaked figure, feminine of frame, the curves of her cloak revealing the fit and strong body of a warrior. She seemed puzzled, as if unaccustomed to the ragtag nature of a structure revamped to fit within the metropolis. She stepped in, obeying the bulky host. Gearan frowned in surprise.
The girl wore the imperial army’s Renova crest on the chest of her doublet. She was an elite solider, yet she couldn’t be older than 17. “Too young to be exposed to wars, the poor child”, Gearan thought, “Unless of course…”
“Hey girl”, he spoke out with his deep voice, “Do you know that wearing fake army gear is a felony in the eyes of imperial law?” The man’s voice was still echoing throughout the hall as the girl shot the man a dark look. At this point, most of the tables had gone quiet. Most of the eyes in the room were glancing between the small, cloaked girl and the massive host.
The girl sent the back of her cloak flying with her left arm, revealing a scabbard. With a gesture that seemed natural, she drew her blade gracefully. She walked up to Gearan, who stood his ground, not bulging at the sight of naked steel. She then silently spun her sword around, putting the handle in front of the giant host, holding the weapon by the edge of the guard.
“Gearan the weapon’s smith”, she spoke, her voice soft as velvet yet cold as ice, “surely your expertise in this field will confirm that my tool cannot belong to any other organization. Gearan grabbed the instrument after a moment of surprise. He didn’t like to remember that man, the young engineering genius that permitted some of the greatest advances in weapon’s technology since the discovery of steel. He didn’t like to remember the cold, cynical solider that developed tools capable of genocide and mass destruction. He didn’t like to remember the man he used to be, especially when the memory was forced upon him by others. This girl had done her homework well if she knew this.
He turned his attention towards the blade. It was a rectangular piece of black steel with a slot carved out in the middle. One of the narrow sides of the rectangle was forged and bolted onto an intricate red guard decorated with golden curves. “The army’s colours”, noticed Gearan. The guard protected a long leather grip. The three other sides of the rectangle had been sharpened into deadly edges.
He held the tool in hand. Even if, to him, it was more a battle dagger than a sword, he could tell the thing was amazingly well forged and better balanced than any street smith’s work. It could have been one of his own. Maybe it was. Maybe that’s why the warrior girl wanted him to hold it. Gearan chuckled at the thought. Little did she know that weapons didn’t have that kind of meaning to him.
“What’s funny?” the little girl said, badly hiding irritation, “I give you a blade, and you laugh?” The big man shifted his weight, relaxing his muscles. “I don’t know what you want little girl, but I am not stepping in those shoes again” He had just finished speaking when the city’s sirens went off. Explosions could be heard in the distance. “Are you sure?” said the little girl, her face hidden below her hood, her tone showing no surprise, yet infected with a hint of fear, “Because we’re about to need your skills desperately…”
Hello again WordPress! How will you react to Steampunk-like tales I wonder. Glad to once again take part in this Yeahwrite and still feeling the mix of dread and pride. I hope you enjoyed. Feedback is always greatly appreciated.