Monday, 22 April 2013

The Humble Devil - Chapter 1

*All characters are purely fictional. Any resemblance to real people/locations is purely coincidental.

Chapter 1

The gentle rays of orange evening sun were fighting their way through the blinds and into the room, giving the room a pleasant warm tint. Melo stretched in his chair. It was barely past six yet he was still the only one in the spacious lounge. The large bright red sofas that lined the room looked almost lonely without the noisy idiots that usually occupied them. Melo stretched again and yawned, putting his book away – the ticking of the wall clock was making him sleepy. Perhaps getting up to get a drink from the bar would wake him up, he thought. But before he had a chance to get up the large metal doors that guarded the main entrance squeaked open and two people entered the lounge.  One was a tall dark skinned man of fragile complexion and glasses, the other one was a fairly stoutly build woman of European descent with a weary smile on her face. Melo couldn’t help but notice that both had nearly identical hair styles – long curly hair, except the woman was blonde. He didn’t bother to get up and only waved his half-asleep hand at them mid yawn.
“Hey Hema, Liene” He was still battling his sleepiness, so the words came out muffled and barely comprehensible. Liene crashed loudly onto the nearest sofa with a giant sigh of relief.
“Heyo, Melon!” She spoke unexpectedly energetically, with a hint of a German accent. Melo pruned his nose at the damned nickname and finally got up, shaking hands with Hema and heading for the bar.
“Where’s Schwackopp?”  Liene asked looking around. Melo opened a bottle of whiskey and poured himself a glass. “How would I know? You know how he is.” He raised an eyebrow and then took a large sip. Hema chuckled. “Well he will spring out of somewhere soon enough, hahaha. Where are Wolf and Rami, by the way?” Melo shrugged and went back to his cosy chair. “They should show up around seven-ish.  They went to buy Wolf a new PC.”
Liene fished a remote out of her sofa and sighed. “I guess we’ll just have to kill some time. Hema, can you get me a drink? I’m too tired to walk any time soon”
“No prob.” Hema nodded and with a quick springy step headed towards the kitchen area.  Liene in the meanwhile pressed a few buttons on the remote, causing a large flatscreen tv that was suspended horizontally on the ceiling to lower with a slight hum. It was frozen in a middle of a Doctor Who episode, so Liene guessed that Wolf was the last one to use it.  Soon enough Hema returned with two glasses of juice, and cozied up on the sofa as well, watching the TV along with her. Melo sighed and went back to reading his book.
He didn’t get much time to read however, as not long after the door opened again – Wolf and Rami came back from their shopping. They didn’t carry anything with them, but it was easy to tell by how excitedly their eyes glistered from behind their glasses that the trip went well. They must’ve already dropped the computer off at Wolf’s place.
“Hey guys!” “’Sup!” Their energetic greetings livened up the atmosphere, once again forcing Melo to put away his book. He was starting to suspect that he will never get the chance to finish reading up on the history of Hyrule as long as he was in this place.  Might as well give up, he thought.  As soon as all the hands were shaken, all the greetings were done and all the drinks were poured, Rami asked the question that was annoying everyone by this point.
“Now, where the hell is Cree?”
Melo had an epicly sarcastic reply ready, but once again didn’t get the chance to use it. As if to answer Rami’s question the back door flung open and a certain individual very flamboyantly walked into the room.  He was wearing stark black jeans and long sleeved shirt, unbuttoned at the top. Short brown hair was accurately slicked up and back and at least a dozen silver rings were covering his hands.  He scanned the room from behind his tinted glasses with a smirk on his face, before shouting out loud enough for the bottles in the bar to echo.
“Whaaaaaaat’sappa, mortals?! Big daddy’s home!” His voice, full of glee and energy, was the last thing needed to wake the room up.  “Shut up, Cree” Melo stood up to greet his old friend fully awake. “Shut up and tell me what crazy scheme you dragged us in here for in the middle of a work week.” Cree looked at him with a surprised and somewhat disappointed look in his eyes. “Aww, c’mon bro, that’s cold. Can’t I just invite my dear friends over to enjoy a beer and play some games? B’sides, this is our lounge, not just mine. “
He wasn’t lying. The big letters “SN” on the wall were visible from anywhere in the room. However, after a brief moment of consideration Melo, Liene, Hema, Rami and Wolf all said in a unison chorus.
Cree burst out laughing, everyone else soon joined in. Say what you will but it was for the moments like these that they bought this clubhouse several years ago. Their very own lounge. Their headquarters.  Then again, saying that they bought the building was not entirely accurate. Perhaps the truer summary of events would be that Cree somehow obtained the building. In truth not one of them knew how their friend got his scheming hands on the lounge, but they long since learned not to question those kinds of things.  Cree generally was known for pulling off crazy stunts, and years of experience taught the gang that pulling a building out of thin air was by far not the most surprising thing their friend could do. And while all of them wondered what exactly he did for a living to afford things like that, none of them were particularly eager to find out. Something told them they might end up as associates to some heinous crime… or worse. What could be worse than a heinous crime? Well, no idea. But it oughta be dreadful.
It was well into the night when a slightly tipsy Liene once again faced Cree, who was sitting opposite her in a chair. “So really, Schwackopp, what is the real reason you called us together at such a time?” He raised an eyebrow. “What time? It’s just a normal day. Not like it’s somebody’s birthday or something.”
Liene frowned and leaned back into the softness of the sofa. “Not all of us can make a living by scheming and plotting like you Cree, we have jobs and it’s the middle of the week!” Liene was right. It was in fact Tuesday evening. In retrospect – perhaps not the most perfect night to be drinking, especially if you have work on Wednesday morning. 
“Well, first of all not all of you work. Hema and Melo are students.”  Cree said with his usual sly smile.  “And even though you, Wolf and Rami work… you will be taking an extended vacation starting tomorrow anyway.” He said and winked. The room fell silent. Hema tensed up in his chair. Melo’s face slowly widened in an evil smile. Rami fell back into the sofa with a sigh. Wolf didn’t show much emotion, but his eyes froze on Cree, while Liene jumped up from her seat. “You don’t mean-?!”
Cree smiled triumphantly and meaningfully raised his finger. “Indeed! I got us another gig. And it’s a big one!” Liene squealed and grabbed Melo and Hema, locking them in a bone crushing bear hug.  Cree opened a drawer, pulled out a thick file and dropped it on the desk.  His sly grin shining in the lights of the fireplace.  “We leave on Friday, first thing in the morning! Gather your equipment and review your wills because, like usual, safety is not guaranteed!” As Cree burst into another triumphant laugh, Wolf’s face took on a wide clever grin for the first time since Cree started speaking. From the depths of his sofa Rami spoke out with a calm smile.
“So we finally got another case, huh, bro?”
“Damn straight! Are all of you guys in?”
Rami’s smile got wider. “Do we even have choice?”
Cree chuckled and then raised his glass with a wink. “Not even the slightest!”

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