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Mar 04 - 02:37:26
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Escape Started by: Amira on Sep 20, '23 16:08

Crouched behind a large, metal dumpster, Amira could feel her heart beating hard in her chest. The thump was so loud that she feared it could be heard, and she fought to keep from breathing too loudly. She could hear the footsteps of the two big goons coming down the fire escape stairs. She knew they’d expect her to have run, so she kept herself in the shadow of the dumpster, as small as she could make herself, and hoped they kept running out of the alley looking for her. The two men thundered down the last flight of the wrought iron stairs, one skipping the last three and the other leaping over the railing to the pavement. They both hesitated, guns in hand.

“Which way?!”

“Split up! You go toward Spring Street and get the car, I’ll take Hauser.”

They both took off down opposite ends of the alley. Amira waited until their footsteps had faded, then she started quietly sneaking toward the direction that the older one had taken. He was slower, but only by a little. When she reached the mouth of the alley, she peaked around the corner, seeing one of her assailants running in one direction. She immediately started running the other way. Her worn, flat soled shoes were doing her no favors at all in aiding her escape. She ran with every ounce of energy she had; but that was draining fast. In the distance, she could see the glittering lights of Las Vegas’ Strip, and she told herself that if she could get that far, she could get lost in the crowd. Her mind kept flashing the scene she left behind her, making her sick to her stomach. Two men dead from a bullet to the head each- one her own brother. Shaking her head slightly, she resolved to keep running; only to run full-speed into another person- a heavy man who seemed to have just left one of the slots places rather drunkenly. Amira very literally bounced off the man’s corpulent figure, and her right shoe caused her foot to stutter, sending her sprawling backward. She could feel and hear the pop from her ankle, but there was nothing to be done as she flung her arms backward to catch herself. The wrists and the heels of her palms immediately stung as the pavement scraped her skin, but she managed to stop herself from skidding any further. There was a gasp from a few people nearby, and the drunk reached forward to try and help her up. Just then, the sound of tires came squealing around a corner, and she looked up just in time to see the other man that had been chasing her. He saw the commotion, then her. 

“HEY!”

He yelled and jammed the breaks, but Amira was already running again- though much slower and with a pronounced limp. Her eyes searched frantically for some place to run into for help, but all the businesses were closed. The man chasing her was gaining fast. Wincing from the pain in her ankle that was now starting to radiate up her leg, Amira took a sharp turn down another alley. She raced as hard as she could to the other side, where she could see more traffic than on the street she’d just left. Knowing she wouldn’t make it much further, she decided to take the only chance she could.

A sleek looking black sedan was almost right in front of her. She could see a driver holding the back door open, and a well-dressed man heading toward it to get inside. With the last wind she had left, Amira dove into the open door and curled down to the floor. Panting, she just barely looked up, hoping not to see a hand coming at her to drag her back out. She just needed to be unseen for long enough for the man after her to lose her.

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~ 10 Minutes Earlier ~

The tall gentlemen entered the room as the three brutes continued to beat upon the owner of the small pizzeria.

"My dear Sir, you are clearly aware that within the perimeter of The Strip, a monthly goodwill gesture must be sent upwards to the illustrious Fluff-father for allowing you to do business on such a prestigious spot of land. See, this is now the second month you have owed us. Last month, you caught my good side and I was kind enough to let you pay us double this month. Yet... you are now overdue..."

The half beaten man looked up, one eye almost completely swollen shut now, hands tied behind his back as he sat upon an old oak chair, one which had clearly seen better days. The room was cold, almost as if the frozen air from the nearby meat storage freezer they used for their toppings, was seeping through the cracks. Drip...drip...drip... the sounds of blood hitting the puddle which had now began to form between his feet. His body shaking slightly, he then gathered all his energy and began to speak.

"Mr....Mr. Tyki.... I'm so so sorry. I was due some winnings from a local gambling circuit but they complained that the books were looking tight this month and that I was just gonna need to shut up and wait. It's the only way I could get enough to pay double after the rough month we had prior. I tried Sir, I really tried. Even my family, they had to make sacrifices so that I could try and get the funding together..."

SLAPPPPP

A serious look could be seen on the face of the tall gentleman from The Stargazers as he shook his hand slightly after the hit, letting the blood droplets fall to the floor. "Never. I repeat, NEVER, let me hear your stupid excuses ever again. Nor do I wish to hear of the hardships your family have endured cause of your inadequacies at being able to manage your own books. Be a better man and get this all fixed. I take no enjoyment from seeing you sitting here, a mess like this. Yet, your actions cannot go unpunished. Do I make myself clear?

The owner kept his gaze towards the wooden floorboards, out of excuses and understanding he needed to accept ownership of his actions. "Y...yes...Sir. I shall get the money together for the Fluff-father asap, with a nice little bonus on top as a way of apology."

"Ensure its done. I do not wish to revisit your establishment under conditions such as these. I'm quite fond of the pizza here actually so I much prefer being a guest, Giuseppe." Brushing his suit to flatten out any creases, he then lifted his top hat from the nearby coat rack and after tipping his head down slightly, the hat had once again found it's home. "Untie him then return with me to the Sudan. I do not wish to be late for our return to the HQ. Fluffy had some important business to discuss with me this evening."

As the largest brute opened the rear door of the pizzeria, Tyki exited the room, followed by his three most trusted bodyguards as they made their way down the alley towards the awaiting Sudan, not yet aware of the upcoming twists this evening was about to take.

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The driver did a double-take, momentarily confused by what he'd just seen. He bent down and looked into the car, then scowled and reached in after her, presumably to drag her back out. She knew the car looking for her would be near, looking for any signs of excitement or anyone that looked like her. Amira also knew that she couldn't run any further. Her ankle was throbbing with pain, and she could see streaks of blood on her clothes where her scraped up hands had brushed. Still panting with exhaustion, she threw her hands up defensively, ducking behind them.

"No, please! Please, I just need to hide!"

Her reply and the panic in her voice gave him pause- she seemed a lot more afraid than someone who would be trying to do his principle any harm. The driver hesitated, then turned to look at the approaching man with a puzzled expression. 

About a block away, the rumbling sound of an engine moving at high-speed could be heard approaching. Amira tried to make herself even smaller, though she was fully hidden by the car. Her body shook with a mix of adrenaline and fear.

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The way his head tilted forwards, the large black hat obscured most of his face, a dark shadow being perfectly cast over where eyes would normally be located. Both hands in his pockets, long jacket flowing with each heavy step as his entourage followed behind, he soon arrived at his Sudan to notice the bizarre look on Pierre's face.

"Well Pierre, in all the years that you have worked for our family, I have never seen you have such an amusingly puzzled expression. I find it some what intriguing. Care to enlighten me as to what caused it?"

His words were soft, almost gentle and calming, yet there was a certain tone that made them almost echo with a strange sinister feeling. 

Pierre carefully raised one hand, pointing it in the direction of the rear cushioned seats of the Sudan. "Tyki Mikk Sir, I think we may have a squatter. She seems to have confused our vehicle with a taxi perhaps. Damn thing looks terrified out of her mind though."

One step, two, three, closer he approached, before extending his arm and resting his palm on the roof of the stationary vehicle. Leaning forwards, he removed his hat to formally greet the unexpected guest, his eyes dangerously closed as a smile formed on his cold features. "Well hello there Little Miss. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Tyki Mikk. May I ask whom exactly you may be?"

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The figure before her seemed to ooze power and command, and it made her gasp a little when she first saw and heard him. His voice was calm and cool, but there was something dangerous about it. Amira tried to clear her throat, but it came out more of a tiny choking sound before she answered him quickly.

"Amira" she almost whispered. "Please...I mean you no harm. There are men chasing me- they are coming closer. I just need to hide until they have gone."

She glanced up at the back window, even though she couldn't see anything but the back seat. She prayed silently that the looks of this man leaning into his own car in such a way didn't attract their attention. She just needed a few more minutes to get away.

The approaching car was a hot rod, so it announced its presence long before it actually passed you by. It was loud enough that Amira heard it from the street outside, and she went pale.

"Please...don't let them know. I beg you..."

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That awful loud groaning. One of those fancy Hot Rods, unmistakable in the arrogance it grants to men. He was all too familiar with men oozing confidence but found that 9 times out of 10, that confidence lacked any real substance to back it up. Turning his head to the side, he spotted the vehicle come to a screeching halt at the start of the alley as four overly large men proceeded to step out, in a rather cumbersome manner.

It wasn't only Tyki who had noticed the arrival of some new guests though, as his own men smiled towards their employer.

"Want us to go handle them Boss? Shouldn't take longer than 2-3 minutes to ensure they make a swift exit." Franco muttered. He was one of Tyki's most trusted bodyguards and a true man of his word.

With a smile towards Franco, that same look which made people calm but also gave a weird chill down their spines, he simply said, "It's okay, let them come. I am keen to understand just who they work for and what exactly they seek to gain from giving trouble to my little guest here."

Turning back towards the vehicle, he extended his hand to the scared female and tried to ensure she paid full attention to the next set of words which left leave his lips. "Amira, such a beautiful name. Would you take my hand and come join me here? It's okay, you can trust me."

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To her surprise, the man who was clearly the owner of the car seemed to be nonplussed by her intrusion. His words, delivered with a tone of calm and matter-of-factness, somehow caused Amira to stop shaking almost immediately. Perhaps it was the smooth yet assertive way he spoke, as if he already knew he had won any fight he approached before it even began. With only a brief moment of hesitation, she reached out and took his hand, watching his eyes as she gingerly crawled from the floorboard. Her ankle would take no weight at all, and she nearly toppled, but caught herself on the car and got to her good foot. Somewhere along the way, her sweater had torn around the right shoulder. Her dark, shoulder-length hair was wind blown, and the rough scrapes from the pavement on her hands and wrists were an angry red though they had mostly stopped bleeding. Amira was still watching the man with a cautious curiosity when she caught sight of the foursome of goons heading their way. Her stomach turned into a tight knot and she gasped, but she was too afraid to even move. Instead, she just moved closer to the well-dressed stranger that had- what? Come to her aid? Or just caught her to make it easier for the thugs to take her? A moment of pure terror flashed through her like a bolt of lightening. Amira spoke with a whispering, trembling voice.

"Please...they killed my brother...they want to kill me..."

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Her mannerisms, her demeanor, her garments, nothing about this woman deemed her a threat to him and it didn't take him long to realize this. His back was facing the entrance to the alley as the four Thugs made their way towards the girl, Tyki, plus his entourage.

"HEY, YOU, yes you with the hat and the long jacket, step away from the girl right this instance you dumb piece of shit." He bellowed, trying his best intimidation tactic. Granted though, this did bring a rather ominous smile to Tyki's face as he shifted his hat into place on his head briefly.

"Our Boss asked us to collect her. Her brother already tried to be a smart ass and paid the price. Now we gotta collect her cause no way in hell are we returning empty handed."

Leaning forwards slightly, he gently whispered to Amira, calm as usual. "Amira, if you could place your hands tightly over your ears for a moment please?" As he saw her nod and do as he asked, he proceeded to place his right hand over her eyes, shielding her view as his next movement was much more swift. His left hand dipped into his suit jacket, his fingers clutching onto his Smith & Wesson Model 19, then with a single rotation of his upper torso, he fired, hitting the man directly in the forehead as the body collapsed in a heap instantly to the concrete floor.

The remaining three Thugs took a momentary step backwards, almost in shock at what they had just witnessed. Roland, another of Tyki's men, couldn't help but laugh at the audacity of the man to call his employer a 'dumb piece of shit'.

"Roland. Do you think I shot him for your amusement?" Cold were his words and tone.

"No Boss, I'm sorry." Roland quickly replied.

Turning to the Thugs, he removed his hat and began to speak. "I am Tyki Mikk of the Stargazers. It seems that today is your unlucky day gentlemen. See, you chose to chase a young Lady whom I now deem in need of protection. In addition to that, I only require one of you in order to get information about your employer. So, do we know what that means?" With a smile, his eyes raised up to meet theirs now, slowly scanning left and right over each of them. "Which of you three, would like to stay alive today, hmm?"

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Despite her eyes being shielded, Amira startled when the gun went off. She hadn't been expecting something like that- not in broad daylight. She did manage to stifle a scream as she curled herself toward the car at the echoing report of the gun. There was a muted thud as the body hit the ground. Only then daring to peek, Amira looked to see that it was the body of the man that had killed Yael. Amira looked back to the scene as she heard the man- his name was Tyki, she thought she'd heard- speak to the other three goons. They were stunned; their eyes darting from Tyki, down to the body of their fellow hoodlum, and back to Tyki and the eerily smooth smile on his face. 

"Which of you three, would like to stay alive today, hmm?"

Two words came from the thug nearest the body, and those two words spoke for everyone well enough.

"Fuck this..."

As if in agreement, the remaining three dropped their own weapons and took off like a bunch of kids whose mother had called them home. 

Amira looked around. There was no one else on the street, and only a few pairs of morbidly curious eyes peeking from windows. Realizing the area she was in, it dawned on her that no one would be bothering them, and it wasn't likely anyone would be calling the police any time soon. Slowly, she turned herself away from the car completely as Tyki_Mikk began to re-holster his gun. She blinked a few times and cleared her throat. It wasn't exactly that she needed to, she just didn't know exactly what to say. She was still trying to process that she- very suddenly- wasn't in danger anymore.

"Th-thank you. That was...daring."

Amira wondered if that sounded as ridiculous in the air as it did in her head.

"I mean, really, thank you- I don't know how I would have..."

Her voice trailed off slightly as she again remembered the body of her brother still lying in their apartment. She closed her eyes and looked away for a few moments.

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He wasn't always a man of many words. In-fact, he often preferred to simply listen, analyse, judge a person based on their words and the manner in which they conveyed them. She was trying to put on a brave face, that much was obvious, yet, he could tell there was much pain and sorrow laying just beneath the surface, as if one simple scratch and the hurt would come pouring out of the wound.

Stepping forward, he placed his hand gently upon her shoulder, trying his best to re-assure her that he meant her no harm and to go one further, that she would be in no danger whilst he was with her.

"Amira, I had hoped one of those men would be brave enough to hang around so that my men here could collect some intel, however, we aren't in the business of chasing thugs through the streets in open daylight. This does leave me with some questions though, just why exactly they were attempting to catch you."

He paused for a moment, his eyes gently casting a gaze over her form and understanding that not only was she carrying some light injuries, but she was also in need of some rest and undoubtedly a bite to eat.

"I have no intention of forcing you to accompany us back to my family manor, yet it would be my pleasure to have you join us there as my guest of honor. We can discuss private matters and I would like to share the details of today with my employer in case he has some insight into any potential, situations. What do you say, Amira?"

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The young woman heard his words, and they registered, but with the immediate threat finally gone, Amira suddenly felt quite tired and overwhelmed. For those reasons, she didn't hesitate a moment when offered a place to go. She certainly didn't want to go back to the apartment.

"I will go with you, thank you. It's just..."

She looked back behind her, as if Yael was there, then back to Tyki_Mikk.

"...what will happen to my brother? He...his body is still in our flat. I'm afraid the police will come and take him away."

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Sliding his hand into his jacket once more, he removed a small notepad and pen, handing it to Amira.

"If you could please note down the address of your flat, I will ensure that your brother is taken care of and a worthy burial prepared for him, all expenses covered. When the time comes, I would be happy to accompany you so that you may pay your respects without any fears or concerns."

Looking over to Pierre, he nodded. "Ensure that it's handled with the utmost urgency please."

"As for us, Amira. Firstly, I would like to bring you with me, back to my Headquarters as we have important matters to discuss. Once that has been addressed, I shall ensure that a safe house is prepared for you, somewhere that will have the proper surveillance and protection so that you can get some good nights sleep."

Taking a step back towards the Sudan, he placed his hand on the top of the door, allowing her to enter the rear first. Once she was inside, he turned to Franco. "Make sure this place is cleaned up. Our business here today was only with Giuseppe and I do not wish for anything further to be tied back to us. Once done, return to the HQ and you and the others may have the rest of the evening off."

Finding his spot alongside Amira, he leaned back, removing his hat and allowing his body to accept a brief moment of rest. It seems, today would be one to remember, but he did question just what the future would bring...

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