Intercosmic - Chapter 25 - Moment of Violence

The Qhex are an interesting species. Monkeys with prehensile tails, 2 legs, 4 arms and a good number of them have some kind of psionic abilities. They aren’t much good in an outright gun fight unless they can get close enough to use their psionic abilities. On the other hand, they’re experts when it comes to hand-to-hand combat, they’re simply too mobile for most species to keep up with; entirely too fast if they run on all six of their limbs. Despite their fighting prowess, combat sports aren’t a thing in their society or cultures as far as I know. They tend to lean more towards history and religion, building grand libraries and temples. GurÄ“to hong sa ud, is what they call their largest library in the capital city. Supposedly it holds physical copies of some of the greatest writing known to the Qhex, as well as other species in The Galactic Federation. Seeing one of them on the fight card tonight, I couldn’t turn it down.

Since Enceladus, I’ve become a fan of watching these fights. Mars however, is nothing like I’ve ever seen. I thought I’d be going to an arena, a gym or something like that, but I’m in the basement of a seedy bar with entirely too many drunk people, and too many people carrying weapons. There’s no doctors or medics that I’ve spotted, and some of these guys aren’t in the best shape before they step into the ring to fight. I’ve been to a few places like this before, but it has never been by choice. I’m not sure how people are drinking so heavily down here, the heat is almost unbearable. I’ve been drinking the same bottle of water since I got here, because the price of water on Mars would be illegal in every other place I’ve ever been to.

After four fights, it’s time for the main event. There isn’t any announcement, they just make their way to the ring before the bell rings. The Qhex fighter immediately starts to run around the ring on all six at a speed no man could match, and the man in the ring wasn’t the definition of fit. He suddenly makes a s sharp turn before leaping up and landing with all four fists on the other fighter. The man’s knees buckle under the weight and the ref calls the fight. The entire thing is over in under a minute. It’s isn’t hard to tell some of the crowd aren’t happy. I didn’t place any bets tonight, but the bartender has been taking more bets than drink orders. A few drinks start to fly towards the ring, the Qhex smacks them away as they come his way, and even tries to protect the human fighter. His honor only causes people to start yelling about the fight being rigged.

It takes a plate of nachos hitting a single spectator for an all-out brawl to begin. I start to make my way out before a bottle is smashed over my head. The I wipe the liquid away from my face and spot my attacker. I suppose this is what we’re doing tonight; perfect setting and the mood is right. As I tackle him to the ground, I’m really glad I didn’t invite Renan tonight. After the game I looked up some video of him in the league, he’s tougher than I thought, he took some hard fouls and dished a few out; this is just way out of his realm of violence.

My wrist hurts as I hit the man in the face, I’m not used to throwing punches with my left hand, but I didn’t want to seriously hurt him with the right. I feel something heavy slam across my back knocking me off the man. I turn to see a man swinging a pool cue at anyone holding still. I missed the adrenaline rush, I never thought I’d say that. I block a swing from the pool cue with my right arm. The cue doesn’t break but cracks on contact, my arm is still unscathed. He hit me with a pool cue so I don’t feel bad about hitting him with the prosthetic. He crumbles to the floor causing a gun to skip across the floor.

This isn’t a fun little bar squabble anymore. I don’t feel bad about kicking him in the ribs with all my strength as he crawled for the gun. I don’t feel bad about kicking him on the other side of his ribs either when he keeps crawling. I pick up the small blaster, just a six shot electric with a long cool down. It shoots shavings of metal rods, he’d have to be pretty close to kill someone with this. I tuck the gun into my pants. A single shot rings out, something much larger. Now is my time to get out of here, before more sinister people decide to up the ante.

Outside there’s no calming breeze, mars is still hot, but the little bit of adrenalin starts to fade. I tap move my finger across my head, the spot where the bottle shatters tender to the touch, but there’s no blood. It’s going to leave a bruise, maybe a knot if I don’t get some ice on it soon. I poke at it again and the pain radiates through my face. One more time, just to be sure, and I catch myself smiling. I guess, it’s good to feel something. 

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