Shaking Down Shadows

Growing Up Henway - Part Two

Henway Back Story

Manhattan Lower East Side 2071

A light rain painted the streets of Manhattan, the chill in the air hinting at the winter that was right around the corner. Traffic was light but steady, and the few pedestrians on the street walk with shoulders hunched against the chill. In this neighborhood you kept your eyes down so that you offered no challenge to the local gangs, but tried to stay aware enough that you didn’t walk into any problems that were best avoided.

Standing under the awning of an abandoned factory, the massive form of a troll youth lurks, doing his best to stay dry. His eyes are up, alert, monitoring both traffic and pedestrians. Confident in his gang colors, he knows that this is his patch of the pavement, the turf of the Pitt Street Bulls. The back of his jacket proudly displays the image of a snarling dog wearing a spiked collar, as did the group of youths nearby.

His eyes narrow slightly as a car turns off of Houston Street and onto Pitt, slowing to a stop in front of the gangers. One of the kids approaches the car and speaks briefly with the passenger and an exchange takes place. He nods and moves away from the car, then flashes two fingers to Henway who nods to one of the other kids who ducks into the shadows briefly before moving to the car and handing off a small packet. The car immediately moves off. Just biz.

He wakes to the sounds of commotion. His eyes pick up several people moving through the squat where he and several other members of the gang live, and he can hear the excitement tinged with fear in the voices that have disturbed his slumber. Hauling himself to his feet, he grabs his jacket and growls, “What the frag is going on?”

One of the youths, human with a smear of blood along the left side of his face, responds quickly, the high pitched voice grating on his ears. “Dem slots from Columbia Street hit our corner. I think they geeked Red, and I took off to get help,” he gasps.

Henway looks down at the ganger, frowning. “What about de others? You just slot off and left ’em out dere?” He shakes his head slowly, the shadow of his curling horns swaying across the wall as he leans over and picks up his shotgun. “Dat ain’t right, you gots ta stand by yer own.” Without another word he ducks his head to clear the doorway and lumbers down the stairs, followed by the other members of the gang.

He arrives at the corner, noting two members of the gang down and not moving, two others stepping out of the shadows. His rage is palpable, and the other gangers keep as clear from him as they can. He glances up at the sound of running feet and nods to the ork leading another group to the corner. “Hoi, Sticks,” calls out one of the other gangers to their leader. “We got trouble. What’re we gonna do?”

Sticks nods to Henway. “Let’s deal with it. We let this go, it won’t stop til they push us off our blocks.”

The troll youth nods in response. “Dey gonna bleed. Make ’em tink twice before dey come back dis way.” Without another word he stalks to the corner and heads up Stanton Street.

Sticks catches up to him. “Smart move. They’ll be watching Houston and Rivington, won’t expect us to hit them from here. You can boost us over the wall then climb over behind us.” The troll nods to the ork but remains silent, confirmation unnecessary. He knows what he’s going to do.

Ten minutes later the group looks out across Columbia to the rundown apartment block where the Columbia Street gang is known to squat. A glance in both directions shows groups at the corners to the north and south, both groups looking towards Pitt Street in anticipation of retaliation. Henway nods towards Sticks, then towards the group at the corner of Rivington Street to the south. “We go dis way. I see Stain, dis was probably his idea. Tryin’ ta make his rep outta us.”

The Bulls make their way to the south, hugging the side of the building and keeping out of sight as they approach the other gang. He knows they have the other gang slightly outnumbered, but he also knows that this needs to go fast or they are likely to get hit by reinforcements coming up behind them. The other gang’s focus remains in the other direction until he is within arm’s reach of the slender elf who is directing the Columbia Street crew. He watches the elf’s eyes widen as he reaches out and grabs him by the throat, lifting him off the ground. He smiles as he rams the barrel of his shotgun into the kid’s mouth as he starts to call out a warning. He watches the blood and brain matter spray out of the pack of the elf’s head and onto the faces of the other gangers behind him as he pulls the trigger, then heaves the twitching corpse into them as the rest of his gang charges forward. The sound of Sticks’ nunchaku buzzes through the air as they impact the head of another member of the Columbia Street crew, and the fight is on.

It’s over in less than a minute. At least five of the other gang’s members are dead, three more on the ground twitching. A couple of the Bulls are cut, and the sounds of alarm rise behind them. “Time ta go,” he mutters as he backs around the corner, watching until the last of his chums pass him before turning and joining them. They don’t stop until they are back on Pitt Street. Home. Just biz.


Brutal—but well written.

Growing Up Henway - Part Two
JaydeMoon fazmandoo

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