Can’t Hide

Sunar sat and looked down at the glass before him while trying to blink away a slight drink-induced haze. His buddies had already won twice, betting that he could drink someone under the table. Then, while he cleared the effects of the booze from his system, someone bet another crew that he could still drink two of theirs under the table. Granted, the two humans he faced were small and rail thin, but having to take two drinks each round took a toll. He considered breaking down the booze down in his system, but decided that would be cheating. Healing up between bouts was different than doing so mid-contest.

The two humans looked a bit the worse for wear, too, but he could feel himself losing his edge. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried this after a day full of drinking, even with the meditation. Oh, well. If I lose this one I lose, at least I will go down fair. He looked at the crowd. Some cheered and others looked surly: Particularly the crew of his two opponents.

It only took a couple more drinks for the one on his left to topple forward on the table. Sunar waited, eyeing the remaining human quietly. He took his drink slow, watching the woman sway more and more. It finally came time for her to drink, and she never even got the cup to her lips before her eyes unfocused and she fell over sideways.

The dwarf who seemed to be the ringleader of their little group pointed at Sunar and yelled. “He is cheating! No one, not even a half-dragon, can drink as much as I have seen him drink this night and keep going! We have a cheater here, and I’m not going to stand for it.”

The dwarf didn’t even give Sunar a chance to respond before he swung. Sunar sat there and stared at the incoming fist. He saw it coming, and some part of his mind tried to tell him that he should do something about it, but he couldn’t seem to decide what to do, nor what made the fist so important. Then the reason came to him with a wet thwack. He managed to keep his seat, barely. Billy returned the punch and someone else hit Billy.

The fight began in earnest while Sunar shook his head, trying to clear it. Something moved out of the corner of his eye, and his hand moved without bothering to inform his unresponsive brain to stop a punch headed for his ear. The deflection caused his opponent to overbalance, and the man – no, the woman – landed sprawled across his lap. He looked down at her. Pretty. He smiled at the pretty woman laying across his lap, and she smiled back. Then she somehow managed, from her strange position, to land a punch across his jaw. He staggered back in his chair and she leapt to her feat, then went off with a wild laugh.

He could hear, barely, the barkeeper yelling at everyone to settle down and mind the furniture. Sunar felt his hand go up again, and when it stopped he found himself holding an empty bottle. He gazed around a bit, and finally managed to focus on a man staring slack-jawed at him, apparently surprised he had caught the thing. He smiled back at the man, shouted, “Here, have it back!” and heaved. The bottle sailed through the air and bounced off the top of slack-jaw’s head. Sunar giggled to himself. Wait, what? Giggling? I do not giggle!

Just then he looked over and found someone had pinned Billy against a wall and seemed intent on pounding him through said wall. Sunar hurried, well… stumbled… over, grabbed the attacker, and pulled with all his might. The guy sailed a half dozen feet through the air, landed on a table, and both went down in a heap.

Billy smiled a bloody grin at him, but then Sunar felt a hard tug at his sleeve and his crewmate looked down in fear. He looked down to find a Halfling woman standing there, furious, pulling hard on him. He almost hit her when she threatened to kick his shins, but then he recognized Rosy through the haze, so he grabbed Billy’s wrist and pulled him along.

Rosy, somehow, managed to gather up the rest of the crew from the bar and they all spilled out into the night. The warm, soggy air did little to clear the haze from Sunar’s mind as he staggered through the back door and into an alley. Rosy motioned urgently, pointing and hissing instructions. The motley crew hurried… well, staggered… off in the direction she indicated.

They took a few random turns, Rosy keeping them in the alleys, when someone doubled over to empty his stomach. This forced them to stop, and Sunar took advantage of the pause.

He stretched out an arm to steady himself against a wall, closed his eyes, and regretted it as the world began to spin faster. He ignored the spinning to concentrate. By the time his crewmate straightened, Sunar’s own head had mostly cleared. He looked to Rosy, who had taken up the lead. She cocked her head at him, furrowed her eyebrows, gave him a refuel smile, nodded, and motioned to the back of the group. She doesn’t miss a thing, even with her cheeks as rosy as a sailor’s dusk. He thought as he took up station behind their little group.

They shuffled off, crossed a street, and ducked into another set of alleys. Rosy now led them as directly towards the spaceport as she could while still keeping them off the streets. Sunar began to think they’d make it, then they turned a corner and a pair of painfully bright lights blinded him.


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