It was 3AM, and Marty was running from five very angry men who all had guns.
Marty weaved through alleyways, chunks of brick and wood raining down around him, as stray bullets whizzed past his ears. Miraculously, none of them found their mark. Just a little further and their magazines would be out, he hoped.
Marty was managing the escape, but thirty feet above, Gregorius, Judge of the Light, was providing the miracles. Gregorius leapt rooftops to keep up, while also making sure the five very angry men below could never quite keep their footing long enough to line up a good shot. Ralphie of The Betrayed had split his suit pants trying to catch up to Gregorius, but was making headway.
Soon another shot rang out, far above Marty and the five angry men. Gregorius gasped and clutched his chest, hearing the sucking hiss where the exit wound had gone through his lung. Marty looked up, thinking he was now being attacked from above as well. He slowed down enough that one of the five angry men managed to graze his shoulder.
Ralphie finally caught up to Gregorius, trying to leap past him and continue manipulating the chase below in the angry pursuers’ favor. In his haste he missed the dagger in Gregorius’s hand, ready and waiting to be driven into Ralphie’s side. Ralph gasped and cursed. Based on previous experience, he was pretty sure Gregorius had managed to cut into both his liver and a kidney. Gregorius would be fighting for air for a while, but Ralph would be puking bile and pissing blood for at least a week. Neither would die, could die from this, but they’d both sort of wish they could for quite a while.
Down below, Marty ran out of the alley and across a street. With Ralph out of the picture, Gregorius made sure a van that was driving by stopped suddenly right at the mouth of the alley, trapping the five angry men. Marty had escaped.
After weeks of planning, Marty had managed to record a secret high level meeting between the city’s police commissioner and a drug cartel member. The five angry men were cops, but they would never find Marty now. Thanks to him, tomorrow the entire city would know that the biggest, richest drug dealers in town were the police themselves. With that revelation and the arrests that would follow over the coming weeks, Ralphie’s influence in the city would go up in smoke. For want of a horseshoe, the war would be lost.
Gregorius returned to where Ralphie crawled along the rooftop. Gregorius helped Ralph up, and offered to buy him a drink. In return Ralphie offered Gregorius a smoke. Both declined, and they went their separate ways.
Ralph limped his way back to his car, and started making calls. He’d found out about Marty’s play just an hour ago, but he knew Gregorius wasn’t behind it. Meticulously planned police corruption investigations? It just wasn’t his style (the knife in the liver was, though.) So how did Gregorius know to be there to protect this snitch? Ralph would probably never find out that Maria, a Chastened in his own gang, had engineered this downfall. But Maria knew that as the city’s residents found out for certain just how corrupt the powers-that-be really were, the streets would be on fire for weeks. Business would soon be very good for The Chastened.
For Marty and the cops below, this night would be the turning point that changed their lives forever. For Gregorius, Ralph, and Maria, it was just another Friday night in the city for the Huldufólk.