Hey, I'm Skoochy, the world's greatest pickpocket and spy extraordinaire. I know Republic City better than anyone, but if you want to pick my brain, it'll cost ya. Heehee. (an independent roleplay/ask blog) Lin Bei Fong, you're my hero.


Time Will Crawl



Skoochy saw the water coming, didn’t think, just dodged. He couldn’t tell if the one bending the water was Shin or the gangly man across from him, but he wasn’t taking any chances.

Drowning, as he well knew, was not the nicest of ways to go. 

Pulling up beside Shin, Skoochy stared at the man across the room. He was…vaguely familiar, not one of the Red Monsoons at all.

“Hyeong?” Skoochy asked. “Shady isn’t that…?”

The man’s eyes locked on Skoochy, stopping him mid-sentence. “Well well, if it isn’t the little street rat.” His voice crawled like slime.

“Weren’t looking for a promotion or something?” he laughed, his eyes cold and unsmiling. “Because you aren’t going to get anywhere with Zolt and his shitheads.”

“Why don’t you stick with me? I could make some good use out of you.”

Skoochy sidled behind Shin, warily staring back at the man’s predatory eyes. He and Shin weren’t friends by any stretch of the imagination, but a body between them could give him just a couple of seconds to run, if necessary.

And it was starting to look very necessary.

“You think I got shit for brains? He’s a baby and not even one of ours. What’re you doing here? Where’s Ming?” Shin didn’t like Red Fingers Hyeong. He was the one bastard that even the Babykiller steered clear from. There was something about the dead-fisheye look to him, the strange scent coming off his clammy skin, the way he held himself, his voice… every single one of his mannerisms that made Shin’s skin crawl just from standing in the same room. “Where’s Cheung?” he asked as Hyeong approached. Shin backed up and nearly stepped on Skoochy.

“No, Shady. You’ve always had ‘shit for brains’, as you put it. Lookit you. Always prancing around in your fancy duds like you’re worth something, like you’re someone important. But you’ll never be, especially not if Triple Threat continues holdin’ hands with each other like a bunch of ladies instead of getting down to the business they should be payin’ attention to.”

This wasn’t unsual to hear. A lot of guys have been saying this very thing, except there was something about the wording or inflection that made Shin narrow his eyes and ask, “What’ve you done?”

Hyeong laughed. It was a sticky, ear-grating sound. “How a guy can be so dumb and so bright at the same time, I’ll never know. I didn’t much like the direction the new leadership was taking, so I decided to take my skills elsewhere. A little rodent like you’s always got your nose down to the ground and ears open. I’m sure you know ‘xactly what I mean.” Shin did. Even if he hadn’t before, the meaning of Hyeong’s words were clear enough now, but it still wasn’t enough warning. A moment later, before he could make a sound, Shin was encased in ice.

The crackling sound of a mass of water suddenly freezing into ice hadn’t even finished by the time Skoochy was already out the door and racing down the hall. Feuds like that man, they got bloody fast. Family treachery…people died for that.

And so he thought as his foot caught on something soft and lumpy, throwing him to the wooden floor with a loud THUMP. 

"Nngh…" Skoochy moaned, planting one hand on the ground to push himself upward. He turned to see what had tripped him.

A dead face, the face of someone he didn’t recognize, stared back at him, distorted almost completely beyond any human shape, its mouth gaping wide open.

"WAH!" Skoochy yelped, crab-crawling backwards until he hit the wall. He pressed against it, scrabbling his feet to put any distance between himself and the face that just. Kept. Staring.

"Did you hear that?" a voice came from the next room over. The door to the room was open, blocking Skoochy’s view of it, but he sucked in a quick breath, trying to stay as silent as possible. Not that it mattered much. He could barely breathe.

But he could still hear noises coming from inside the room. There was a muffled, panicked crying, growing louder with each passing second, and a loud boot step. Then, without any preamble, the slick sound of a knife slicing through flesh.

"Nah boss, I think this one’s the last of them," came another voice, followed by a heavy thump. 

"Why don’t you go and find out?" said the first voice again.

Skoochy shoved himself upward, and hopped over the dead body, running the opposite direction down the hall. He didn’t know if there was a door down this way, but he’d be damned if he ran past the open door to that room with the voices.


Not that it mattered anyway, he found soon enough. He could already hear footsteps pounding behind him, and the quiet swoosh of water. He tried to run faster, as if distance meant any difference in this narrow hallway, but it was too late. Before he knew it, he was suspended in the air, one arm and one leg encased in thick ropes of water.

"Where’d ya think you’re going, kid?" the sharp, thin face sneered at him. Skoochy gulped for air, desperate for words. Nothing came out, and he could already see the fist flying towards his skull.

For the second time that day, everything went dark.