The odd crunch from the door caught his attention about the same time when Accark left out a loud warning growl. He turned and saw a large spriggan darting straight at him. Second later it flew into him. He blocked its hit to his chest, flung around and elbowed its neck. There wasn’t enough room to use his wings or take off, so he made do with the knife the spirit so gracefully had provided and crouched as it readied himself for the next lash. He sprung back, kicking the spirit few more times into his chest before sending it flying across the room.
“And that’s how the world came to an end…” gargoyle murmured, watching his neighbor’s face fall as his precious painting he’d gifted him came crashing down after the large guy.
Accark had brought it to him on a very rainy day, flaring his soft scales out to keep the rain hitting the kraft paper from getting wet. The dragon was overjoyed, his eyes gleaming with satisfaction, when he set it down on his sofa and stepped back. The painting must have cost a fortune, by the looks of it, but he had been mad angry, close to kicking the huge scaly monster for bringing it in the first place. Until then they’d stayed on the level of expensive delights and occasional music from the human world he barged in to listen with him. The lizard was practically an overgrown puppy with very, very expensive taste. He worked hard to be able to afford it, too. So it bothered him even more, when he realized the puppy was lavishing him with expensive gifts too.
“No! This painting is priceless!” Accark screamed, shaking from the injustice and for a moment Gale believed the daft dragon had completely lost it when he walked straight towards the painting – and the guy still laying underneath it – to pick up the pieces.
“Accark!” Gale shouted warningly. He was too far away to get there in time and the spriggan was already moving. He grabbed hold of his gun, unlocked it and pointed it at the spirit. “Accark!”
The dragon popped, his neck scales rattling, and quickly pulled back, away from the monster raising its head through the paper, realizing what he was doing. Second later he was half covered with the green mucus that splattered around the wall and its nearby objects. He knew they heard the shot upstairs. They needn’t worry, he would not stick around to have whoever that was show up again.
His eyes fell on Accark, who was standing there with horror written all over his face, his pink nails twitching together with his tail that kept rising and rising in one smooth swoop the closer the big guy came to a heart attack.
New set of runners came their way, but he recognized the heavy footsteps of Tougo and Celik. Instead of greeting them when they appeared on the door, he fixed the gun holster on the back of his belt while he went to stop the scream forming in Accark’s throat, winching already ahead for the possibility of being too close to his vocals when it released.
“What the hell was that?” Celik demanded, bursting in.
“I was under attack, can’t you tell?” Gale bristled at the old gargoyle, reaching his hands after Accark’s. “Because of him! Is’t that right, Accark? Hey, hey, come on, look at me!” He ordered, pinching his nails into his scale free hand. He wanted to slap him right now, hard, but surprise kicking a dragon was never a good idea. “Who was that?” he demanded the moment his eyes focused on him instead of the big hole that used to be the spirit’s head.
“I-I don’t know!” He yelped, trying to get his hands free, but it wasn’t working. He yanked it again, but it only made Gale’s fingers clamp down harder.
“I’m sure you can at least guess!” He hissed, stepping closer, blocking dragon’s wondering eyes on his face.
Celik and Tougo were coming closer and, but the whole idea of having them interrogate Accark went against his grain. They were not his clan, he would not yield to them nor would he allow them to treat him…
The sound of Accark’s clattering tail falling on the floor yanked him out of his thoughts and he turned his attention back on the peach.
“It might be that spriggan was hired by Tribble.” He whispered, hardly audible to Celik, who had stood behind him.
“Why wouldn’t he come himself?”
“We’re suppose to be on a meeting. He can’t skip it without others becoming suspicious.” He explained, eyes cast down again. No amount of shaking his hands brought the eyes back and he had no other choice but to wait until he felt confident enough to explain. “I knew something was off, when he went straight to his office after our talk and got his communicator out.”
The communicators were nowadays only used inside closed circles. They could be built only to have limited connectible addresses in them, thus they could not be used for general work, which was switched to phone services the moment they got hold of the tecnology. That did not stop them from being used by close-knit tribes or groups that wanted privacy and lessen the possibility of eavesdropping.
“You skipped the meeting and hid out in your apartment instead?”
“I knew he would be suspicious if you didn’t go back, so… yeah, I hid in my apartment.” He whispered the last part, blushing as the shame colored his nose that had less of the long fur and around his eyes, giving the dragon a look as if he’d spent the last few hours crying profusely. Gale let his hands go, but didn’t back away. He knew the dragon wanted to say he came here to protect it, but it hadn’t worked out that way and no matter how he wanted to show his good will, this had not how he’d wanted it to happen at all.
“This can’t happen again!” Celik demanded, fists on his hips.
Gale turned around and eyed the older gargoyle with mixed feelings. As much as he could understand his antics, he hated the implication in his tone.
“I didn’t plan this either! And don’t worry, it won’t happen again.” He assured him.
Tougo slapped Celik very disrespectfully on his back. He didn’t take his hand away, when he turned to Gale. “Are you in trouble? We did move here only a month ago, but we can help you if…”
“We can?” Celik demanded from the younger, and by the grimace he had on his face next he knew Tougo had pinched the gray gargoyle.
“No. Thank you, but no.” Gale left Accark to blush in the corner of the room while he returned to pack his bag. It wasn’t big, those get away bags never had much in them, especially now that he had to make room for his brother. He’d had to flee more than once and in none of those times had he time to do things properly. Which meant the world grew smaller each time he flee from somewhere.
“So what are we gonna do about this fellow here?” Celik asked after he’d tossed in the last of his things and prepared to buckle it all up. It was big enough to carry on his back while he had separate bag for the egg. The egg itself wasn’t much bigger than human head, but it still weighted enough to make his flying hard.
“Clear self defense.” Tougo said. He should know, he was the best law knowing gargoyle he’d come across. “Oh, you meant Accark?”
“He can get himself wherever he wants!” Gale spit out with venom as he went to collect the egg from the pedestal. He slipped it into its carrier bag he’d had specially made for it. It had padding all around with leather web making the small pouch easy to manipulate into different shapes as the webbing stretched to make space for it. It was ingenious design and he was glad he’d done the investment. He fixed the harnesses of the pouch on the belt from his back bag and gave the warm room the last lookover. The warmth he’d miss the most, he knew. He always did.
His eyes fell on Accark, who was still standing in the back corner of his flat, his eyes glued on the monster job in front of him. Most likely he hadn’t even heard the insult he’d just been given.
“Hey!” He called out, catching his attention. “I would start taking off that jacket.” He nodded towards his dirty chest. It was starting to dry and the green color darkened, especially in the warmth oozing from the dragon’s fur. Soon it would be too sticky to get easily out from his fur and scales. Why was he bothering himself with dragon’s grooming habit?
“It was nice knowing you. I’ll call it in, we never saw you leave.” Tougo couldn’t keep the smile away on the lie and Gale gave him a light bow before doing the same with Celik.
He wished them good day and sighed before he headed to the stairs.